British Columbia

B.C. NDP Leader Adrian Dix

Vancouver-Kingsway MLA Adrian Dix was elected leader of the B.C. New Democrats in April 2011.
Vancouver-Kingsway MLA Adrian Dix was elected leader of the B.C. New Democrats in April 2011. (Canadian Press)

Vancouver-Kingsway MLA Adrian Dix was elected leader of the B.C. New Democrats in April 2011.

Dix replaced outgoing leader Carole James, who resigned in the face of a caucus revolt following months of infighting.

He campaigned on a pledge to repeal the controversial Harmonized Sales Tax and appealed to the party's left-wing base of community activists and labour unions. He won on the third ballot, defeating three rivals.

In his acceptance speech he said he was looking forward to the NDP winning a majority government in the next provincial election.

"Let's do it, let's work on it, let's get it done together," he said to cheers.

Ahead in the polls

The New Democrats are heading into this election with a solid lead over Premier Christy Clark and the B.C. Liberal Party.

Dix has promised to tackle the economy and B.C.’s struggling film industry, focus on skills training and end partisan advertising if elected.

He has also protested the closure of the Kitsilano coast guard station, calling on the Liberals to step in and keep the base from closing, even offering to work with the provincial Liberals on the issue.

Dix also vowed to avoid personal attacks on Premier Christy Clark and the B.C. Liberal Party throughout the election campaign, an attempt to distance the NDP from their rivals and positioning the New Democrats as the party of change.

A win for Dix would be a huge comeback for the party that governed for over nine years from 1991 to 2001, when the party was decimated by the B.C. Liberals, winning just two seats in the legislature — a loss of 37 seats.

The party has seen a resurgence in the past two elections, securing 35 seats in the 2009 provincial election under leader Carole James, trailing the Liberals’ 49 seats.

Political experience

Born in Vancouver to parents who had immigrated from Ireland and Britain, Dix attended Point Grey Secondary School and went on to study political science at the University of British Columbia.

Dix, who is fluent in French, worked in Ottawa for NDP MP Ian Waddell before serving as the executive director of the Canadian Parents for French B.C./Yukon chapter.

He served as chief of staff to former premier Glen Clark from 1996 to 1999 and was a key player in many of the unpopular NDP decisions of the day, including the scandal that toppled the Glenn Clark government.

Dix eventually resigned after getting caught back-dating a memo to make it look like Clark had asked him to stay away from the casino licensing process.

He later worked as a political commentator for local newspapers and television stations, before being elected to the B.C. legislature as the MLA for Vancouver-Kingsway in 2005.

Dix has served as Opposition critic for health and children and families.

He lives in East Vancouver with his wife Renee Saklikar, a poet and writer.