Message went unheard, says Victoria MLA Carole James

Adrian Dix staying on as B.C. NDP leader at least in short term

Victoria-Beacon Hill NDP MLA-elect Carole James looks forward to a thorough party review in the wake of a surprising provincial election loss May 14 .

She also feels good that  Adrian Dix announced Wednesday he will stay on as B.C. NDP leader in the near future, as the party analyzes how its pre-election lead in the polls evaporated and left it with three less seats, 33, than it had to start the campaign.

“The fact Adrian is staying in the short term to help us through that process, and has said the party membership will make the determination on what happens next – I’m really proud of him for that,” James said  from her home in James Bay.

“It  shows that this is a democracy. And it also will provide us with some focus to get ready for the legislative session.”

The NDP will likely vote at its convention in November on whether to hold a leadership race, she added.

One of the key aspects the NDP must look at during the review, she said, was how it communicates its platform and policies and the way it connects with voters.

While the voter turnout was marginally up in B.C. – 52 per cent of eligible voters cast ballots – the turnout was down in all seven Greater Victoria constituencies, five of which were won outright by the NDP.

James said voter apathy is a problem all parties need to work to address.

Speaking at a press conference in Vancouver on Wednesday, Dix didn’t specify a time frame for the election post-mortem. He did say 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 said. “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 the B.C. Liberals’ 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.

Some James fans have wondered aloud whether the party might have defeated the Liberals with James, NDP leader from 2003 to 2011, at the helm.

“I was proud to run with Adrian and went into this election as a strong member of Adrian’s team,” James said. “I don’t hang onto things. Rather than look back at what might have been, it’s more important to look ahead to the next (legislative) session.”

Asked about the public opinion polls that predicted an NDP victory, James laughed.

“In an ideal world I’d love to see no poll results released during the campaign,” she said. “But I think that horse was let out of the barn a long time ago. The world is changing and people want information.”

Clark planned to meet with her team of candidates in Vancouver yesterday.

– with files from Tom Fletcher

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Various Victoria locations were hit with a slew of anti-bylaw graffiti Wednesday. This image has been altered to cover up profane language. (Submitted photo)
UPDATED: Slew of anti-bylaw graffiti an ‘unacceptable’ form of communication says Victoria mayor, police

Downtown businesses, bylaw office and Ministry of Finance vandalized Wednesday morning

The Gordon Head Recreation Centre stands in as the Quimper Regional Hospital on Feb. 23 for filming Maid, a 10-part Netflix series. (Greg Sutton/District of Saanich)
Netflix transforms Saanich recreation centre into hospital for filming

Facility was closed to public Feb. 23 for filming of Maid

Greg Chow is the 2021 Local Hero of the Year. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Fighting fire a family affair for Colwood Assistant Chief Greg Chow

With 38 years of service, Greg Chow is the 2021 Hero of the Year

This rendering shows plans for the new “flyover”overpass connecting northbound traffic on Highway 17 heading west on Keating Cross Road. Plans currently seeking public input propose two options for the median along Keating Cross Road. Option 1 will prevent left turns onto Tamany Drive and Buena Vista Road. Option 2 (seen here)will allow for left turns onto Tamany Drive and Bujena Vista Road. (Screencap/Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)
Public asked for comment on proposed overpass for Pat Bay in Central Saanich

New flyover overpass proposed for Highway 17 and Keating Cross Road

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media File Photo)
POLL: Are you struggling with Greater Victoria’s cost of housing?

While Victoria remains one of the most expensive cities in the country… Continue reading

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

Photograph By @KAYLAXANDERSON
VIDEO: Lynx grabs lunch in Kamloops

A lynx surprises a group of ducks and picks one off for lunch

When his owner had knee surgery, Kevin, 2, was able to continue to go for walks thanks to volunteers from Elder Dog Canada. (Contributed photo)
B.C. woman has nothing but praise for Elder Dog Canada

National organization has a fleet of volunteer walkers ready, but needs more clients to serve

Two women were arrested in Nanaimo for refusing to wear masks and causing disturbance on a BC Ferries vessel. (File photo)
B.C. ferry passengers arrested and fined for disturbance, refusing to wear masks

Police said woman threatened their pensions in Feb. 21 incident aboard Nanaimo-bound boat

A Nanaimo RCMP vehicle in the Woodgrove Centre parking lot. (News Bulletin file photo)
Woman groped by stranger in mall parking lot in Nanaimo

Incident happened near bus loop Saturday, Feb. 20, at about 4:45 p.m.

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

Most Read