Vancouver-Kingsway MLA Adrian Dix entered the NDP leadership race Monday at a Vancouver school he campaigned to keep open, with a list of MLAs and prominent party members supporting him.
"I had high hopes to serve in a government led by Carole James – a great leader who should have become British Columbia's first elected woman premier," Dix said in notes for his address.
"I am committed to party unity – I've always been a team player – and now I'm asking for the opportunity to be your team leader."
Supporting Dix are three Surrey MLAs, Harry Bains, Sue Hammell and Bruce Ralston, along with Vancouver East MP Libby Davies, Vancouver-Kingsway MP Don Davies and former MP Svend Robinson.
Dix is the sixth candidate in the race to replace James, pushed out by a revolt of 13 MLAs late last year. He launched his campaign on the last day for party members to sign up and be eligible to vote in a province-wide leadership election on April 17.
Dix vowed to win the next election and then "lead British Columbia into a more progressive future" by redistributing wealth.
"Analysis from all over the developed world demonstrates that the polarization of wealth and power and the growth of poverty have very significant financial and social costs for the entire community – not just for the poor, but the rich too," he said. "And there is no question that Kevin Falcon or Christy Clark would increase the costs imposed on our children and our communities by the growing divide in our society."
Dix recalled his time as chief of staff to former premier Glen Clark in the late 1990s, which included negotiating the first modern treaty with the Nisga'a people in northwestern B.C.
Dix was fired by Clark in a controversy over a casino licence issued to a neighbour of Clark's who had done work on his East Vancouver house.
Also running for the NDP leadership are Port Coquitlam MLA Mike Farnworth, Juan de Fuca MLA John Horgan, Fraser-Nicola MLA Harry Lali, Powell River-Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons and North Vancouver marijuana activist Dana Larsen.