Facing a room full of supporters Saturday, provincial NDP leader Adrian Dix called the Liberal ‘ethnic-gate’ scandal a source of creating even more cynicism in politics, and blamed the entire Liberal government on the issue.
During a brunch fundraising stop in the Comox Valley at the Best Western Plus Westerly Hotel, Dix addressed many campaign issues during a half-hour speech to show support for Comox Valley NDP candidate Kassandra Dyke, but discussed the Liberal’s ethnic outreach vote-wooing scandal.
“The multicultural document presented and the strategy that the government employed doesn’t reflect the way you want to see our government act and it hurts everybody and creates more cynicism in politics,” he told media after the event.
“I think the review and the investigation has to be brought and has to meet the test. This isn’t about one person but it’s about a government that has decided to go on a path that most people would say is the wrong path.”
He added very strong efforts were taken on the part of the government to keep the documents from public scrutiny.
Dix noted he respects Premier Christy Clark and his party should not be focused on “tearing other people down.”
“The problem with what the Liberals have done here is that they make the participation of democracy look bad, and we’ve got to bring people back to the political system,” he explained. “Some people in politics treat politics like a game, and it’s not a game. The consequences are serious for people.”
Dix said his government is running a positive campaign leading up to the May election, and said he wants people to vote for Dyke because they support her ideas and policies, not because they aren’t satisfied with Liberal Comox Valley MLA Don McRae.
“If Kassandra’s just elected because people don’t like the local MLA or I’m elected because people don’t like the premier, that’s a thin mandate to get the things we need done, done,” he noted.
“I’m not going to run down anyone else. It’s very challenging to be a MLA in these times. We don’t want to win because we’re running a negative campaign against (Don McRae), we want to win because people want to vote for Kassandra.”
Dix explained a key challenge for the Comox Valley riding is ensuring a strong economy for the many people who want to live in the area.
He added it starts with people being able to live in the Valley, earn money and stay here.
“This is a place where people want to come here and never want to leave,” he said. “Economic opportunity for young people — those are central issues. We have a significant of seniors in the community and the quality of seniors care. The quality of care in the community … are very important.”
He acknowledged the Liberals have taken positive steps in their tenure such as all-day kindergarten and signing the Tsawwassen Treaty, and if elected, he wants to build on some of their strategies.
“Some times what happens in politics is we change things for the sake of changing things, to put our own brand, our own idea,” he said. “Our job coming in is not to re-attempt to find some past and redefine it, but to build on what we inherit.”