B.C. NDP leader Adrian Dix speaks to reporters Saturday in Penticton while local candidate Dick Cannings looks on. A recent poll found support for the party is weakest in the Interior.

B.C. NDP leader Adrian Dix speaks to reporters Saturday in Penticton while local candidate Dick Cannings looks on. A recent poll found support for the party is weakest in the Interior.

Dix wades into debate on proposed Penticton hospital tower

NDP leader visited the city Saturday for private meeting with doctors and also expressed support for more consideration of national park

Adrian Dix will reopen talks on a national park in the South Okanagan-Similkameen and work to come up with money to build a new hospital tower in Penticton if his party wins the spring election, he told reporters Saturday.

“This hospital (tower) will be built. Of course,” the B.C. NDP leader said during a visit to the campaign headquarters of local party candidate Dick Cannings.

“We’ve got to work the process now and we’ve got to get on with it. And that’s what we’re going to do.”

Premier Christy Clark on Wednesday staged a press conference at Penticton Regional Hospital where she committed $2 million to develop a business case for the proposed ambulatory care tower and said her government had “notionally” identified money for the project in its long-term capital plan.

Dix visited the hospital Saturday but held a private meeting with doctors, an approach he said is more “respectful” than the one employed by the Liberals.

“The difference between me and others is that I’m not going in there with television cameras and saying, ‘Look at the state of Liberal health care.’ I’m more respectful.”

He pledged to carry on with the business case, but did not, however, commit to any timelines for how quickly the tower might get built if his party forms government. Nor did he commit one way or the other on the idea of a national park in this region.

Planning work on the park stalled in December 2011 when the B.C. government withdrew from the process due to a stated lack of public support. Dix thinks the decision was too hasty and the park at least deserves further consideration.

“Ranchers have raised some issues… and we have to talk with them, meet with them and address those issues,” he said. “But I don’t think you throw away opportunities.

“This would bring investment into the region, significant jobs into the region, and so we should fully pursue that opportunity.”

Just seven weeks remain until the May 14 election and both Dix and his party enjoyed big leads in poll results released Thursday.

The Angus Reid survey found 48 per cent of decided voters intended to support the NDP, versus the 28 per cent who favoured the Liberals.  Dix earned a personal approval rating of 47 per cent, compared to 27 per cent for Clark.

That same poll also found NDP support is weakest in the Interior, where the party was favoured by 39 per cent of decided voters, good for just an eight-point lead on the Liberals.

Dix said that despite good poll numbers, he still sees his party as the underdog.

“The Liberal party has so much money they’ve been running negative ads against me for 15 months. They have so much money that Liberal front groups are running some of the nastiest personal attack ads the province has ever seen,” he said.

“They have the government, they’ve won three straight election. The NDP has won three out of the last 21 elections. We’re always the underdog.”



Just Posted

Geordie Fife exits the dunk tank during 2017’s Discovery House Father’s Day festivities at Skaha Lake Park. The fundraiser helps raise awareness of the work done at the house and break down the stigma associated with addiction. (Western News File)
Discovery House Father’s Day fundraiser goes digital

The addiction recovery program will be rolling out videos ahead of the fundraiser

The proposed design of the five-storey building on Front Street. (City of Penticton)
Five-storey building proposed for Penticton’s Front Street

It will be the second time the proposal will head to council

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from St. Eugene’s residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

RCMP thanked the public for assistance in finding Benjamin Archie, last seen in Princeton. (RCMP)
Missing Chilliwack man found safe and sound

The 80-year-old had walked away from his home in Chilliwack

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Her death is considered a homicide and connected to the slain brothers found on a Naramata forest road. (Submitted)
Naramata community in shock as condolences pour in for homicide victim Kathy Richardson

Richardson was well liked in the community, a volunteer firefighter with a home-based salon

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

(Heather Lueck image)
Crash north of Enderby knocks out power, slows Highway 97A traffic

A witness captured footage of a medical helicopter landing at the scene

The RCMP presence in Central Okanagan public schools is being reviewed by the board of education. (File photo)
RCMP presence welcomed in Central Okanagan public schools

Staff survey feedback overwhelmingly positive from students, staff and parents

Most Read