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INTERVIEW: Adrian Dix 'Extremely Disappointed' In 2013

For B.C. New Democrats Leader Adrian Dix, 2013 started as a year full of promise. The NDP was well ahead of the Liberals in the polls leading up to the May provincial election.

But on voting day - the one poll that matters - the NDP fell short in an election loss that stunned almost everyone.

Premier Christy Clark forged ahead with her plans to build a liquid natural gas export industry in northern B.C. Meanwhile, Dix announced his resignation, triggering an NDP leadership race sometime in 2014.

Now looking back at what could have been in a year-end interview with the CBC's Stephen Smart, outgoing NDP leader Dix insists he was disappointed by the election result — but not necessarily surprised.

"I was disappointed on election night, and I mean extremely disappointed," said Dix.

"But, I knew it was going to be a close election. I knew it was going to be competitive. I knew it could go either way."

In hindsight, said Dix, he doesn't think he managed to convince voters of the need to get out and vote, partly due to the prevalence of polls predicting a huge NDP victory.

"That had an effect on the election, there's no question about it, and I needed to be more convincing in letting people know what I believed, which was that the Liberals could well be re-elected."

Defeat hasn't diminished opposition drive

Although he is stepping down as leader, Dix hasn't let the defeat diminish his drive to oppose the Liberals and B.C. Premier Christy Clark.

"We see this unprecedented loss of private sector jobs ... since the premier launched her jobs plan, and it's failing. She has no idea on forestry - mills are closed in places like Houston. No plan from the premier.

"People are leaving British Columbia and that is the premier's real record ... The reality is that it's tough for people."

Dix said he's most disappointed by the provincial government's actions since the election, and accuses the Liberals of misinforming people over BC Hydro rate increases.

"[This government] is profoundly unprincipled. We saw it during the election campaign - massive use of public funds to promote the premier personally and misleading the public on key issues."

"The consequences are serious. The Liberals have to justify ... a balanced budget that isn't balanced, so they're still taking money from BC Hydro that it doesn't have and the people who pay the price for that will be the businesses and economy of the province."

Although Dix will give up the leadership in 2014, he is determined to keep pressing the government even after he steps down.

"We've got a job to do now, which is to hold the government to account and force them back on key issues.

"We've already done that on a couple of things - the Therapeutics Initiative​ being one, pay increases for staff being another. We forced them back on issues of taxation before and after the election.

"These are significant wins and we've got to score more of those wins."

Economy, jobs key issues for 2014

Giving his predictions for the big issues of 2014, Dix said the NDP will focus on areas of the economy where things aren't all that rosy, where there are falling job numbers for instance.

"In forestry, in mining, in energy and in the film industry — those issues around jobs and people being able to get by and make money in the economy and live good lives.

"We're seeing in the economy growing inequality. It's harder and harder for people to support their families."

Dix said the imminent leadership race can only build up the party and will draw several different candidates.

"They're going to get out in the communities across B.C. and they're going to discuss the future of the party. If not now, when?"

And as for his 2014 plans, Dix said he is going to continue his work as MLA for Vancouver-Kingsway.

"I'm looking forward to the next year of that work and then doing everything I can to support the next leader of the NDP.

"I love being an MLA. The work we can do for our constituents is very satisfying and I'm going to keep doing it."

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