Dix staying on as BC NDP leader

Adrian Dix will keep his position as provincial NDP leader for the foreseeable future

  • May. 27, 2013 8:00 a.m.
NDP leader Adrian Dix says he will prepare to face the B.C. Liberal government when the legislature reopens later this year.

NDP leader Adrian Dix says he will prepare to face the B.C. Liberal government when the legislature reopens later this year.

Adrian Dix is staying on as B.C. NDP leader while the party reviews its performance in the May 14 election and prepares for four more years in opposition.

Dix didn’t specify a time frame for the election post-mortem, but said he will work to prepare the NDP opposition to hold the government to its election commitments.

“I assure you this review will spare nothing and no one, least of all me,” Dix told a news conference in Vancouver Wednesday.

“It must address the strategy and tactics we employed in the election, and it must examine the fundamental question of who we are as a party and our relationship with the people of B.C.”

Dix took responsibility for mishandling a campaign that began with the NDP expecting a strong majority government after four years of turmoil in B.C. Liberal ranks over the harmonized sales tax and other issues.

He singled out as a significant error his surprise mid-campaign decision to turn against the proposal to expand the Trans-Mountain oil pipeline that runs from northern Alberta to Burnaby and Washington state.

Dix expressed no regret for avoiding negative advertising, although he was targeted by a long string of ads questioning his personal integrity and competence. He stood by his choice as an attempt to engage more voters, but the campaign didn’t deliver a significant increase in the 51 per cent participation rate of the 2009 vote.

“I don’t believe last week’s results are the end of positive politics in B.C.,” Dix said.

“The answer to the Liberals’ populist, right-wing playbook is not to simply adopt it.”

Instead of pushing Premier Christy Clark out of the job, the NDP ended up down three seats to 33 and the B.C. Liberals increased their majority to 50 seats.

Delta South independent Vicki Huntington was re-elected, and the B.C. Green Party made a breakthrough with the election of their first MLA, University of Victoria climate scientist Andrew Weaver in Oak Bay-Gordon Head.

Clark is expected to meet with her team of candidates in Vancouver Thursday.