The Comox Valley is an important riding to the BC NDP, and leader Adrian Dix and fellow MLAs were busy hearing what’s important to the community this week.
“This is obviously a key area, a key constituency in any election campaign,” Dix told media late Thursday morning. “I think it’s almost always, maybe always in recent years, on the winning side, whether that winning side is NDP or Liberal as it has been, and so it’s an important race for us because we’ve got an outstanding candidate (Kassandra Dycke), but it’s also a community that I think is fairly active on democracy, on democratic issues.”
Dix and NDP MLAs from around the province were here Wednesday and Thursday for a caucus meeting and community outreach.
MLAs spent Wednesday afternoon meeting with various businesses, community groups, organizations and other agencies. An outside fundraising dinner, including a speech by Dix, followed at the Filberg Heritage Lodge and Park that evening.
Then, Thursday morning the group held its caucus meeting before heading out to do more community outreach in the afternoon.
“We’re having our caucus meeting here this morning dealing with some of the issues facing the entire province, but also focusing in on issues facing Vancouver Island,” said Dix. Then, “again meeting with community groups, with Lana Popham meeting with farmers and visiting farms, to Mike Farnworth dealing with people in health care, and on and on it goes, to Spencer Chandra Herbert meeting with people in the tourism industry.
“It’s a really positive opportunity for us to hear from the people of this region of B.C., to hear what they’re saying, listen to what they’re saying, have that inform the issues that we’re raising, the change we want to bring.”
Meeting with small businesses was something in the forefront of Dix’s mind as he noted the BC NDP is trying to strengthen the relationship between small business and government.
“I think we’re building support in the small business community,” said Dix. “That’s always been a problem over time, which was government seen as regulator and as policing small business … and the small business not having a positive relationship.
“We’re trying to change that relationship by focusing on government’s purchasing power supporting small businesses in communities and building new economic alliances that strengthen communities and create jobs.”