NDP leader Adrian Dix flew into Williams Lake Monday afternoon, one of many stops during a 24-hour whirlwind tour that will end just before the polls open Tuesday morning.
Holding hands with his wife Renee Saklikar, Dix walked across the runway and through the gate to meet supporters on the lawn outside the airport terminal.
“We’re getting close. Thirty-one hours now and change is going to come to the Cariboo and to British Columbia,” Dix said. “I’m delighted to be here with my friend Charlie Wyse, landslide Charlie Wyse, and my friend Duncan Barnett, two great candidates. I think they represent the best of this region and the best of B.C.”
Barnett has prepared himself in an “extraordinary” way and done a “remarkable” job in the campaign, Dix said. “From agriculture to forestry and understanding our justice system, he’s going to make a remarkable MLA for Cariboo North.”
Turning to Wyse, Dix said when Wyse walks through Williams Lake, Alexis Creek or the Nemiah Valley, people know him because he taught them in school, or taught their children.
“They know him because he served them on city council and they know him as a great MLA, they miss him, and they want him back.”
Comparing the NDP approach to politics with the Liberal approach, Dix said “today the Liberal party has reached new levels of angry rhetoric because they know there are 31 hours left in the campaign.”
Dix said he’d been to Williams Lake many times and worked on issues with local people.
“When the Liberals closed Deni House and left this community with one private seniors home, and they punished workers for speaking out, Charlie Wyse worked hard.”
Also paying tribute to Seniors Advisory Council chair Audrey MacLise, Dix said, “she’s ill right now, but we worked with her and she worked with us, and we forced them to reopen Deni House. It’s open today and serving seniors today because of Audrey and people like Charlie.”
He also said the NDP want to ensure that young people who graduate in Williams Lake have full opportunity in the future, that the forest industry survives by investing in it, not ignoring it.
“We want to ensure mining has a future by ensuring that unnecessary delays are taken away, that tourism has a future by ensuring the people who market tourism in the Cariboo are people from the Cariboo,” Dix said, adding it’s also important there be alternatives in the agriculture industry.
“We have the most intensive agriculture platform in this election with Duncan’s input.”
Dix said the Liberals attacks are “over the top,” while the NDP is remaining on the focus to bring change, invite people back to the political process, and engaging with people whether they have supported the NDP in the past or have not.
Turning to the supporters standing behind him, who numbered about 30, Dix asked “what time is it?”
They replied, “time for a change,” part of the slogan the NDP has used throughout the campaign.
Closing Dix encouraged people to vote, and to tell their friends and neighbours to vote.
“You can lose by a few votes. Charlie knows that,” Dix said. “Can you imagine waking up on May 15 and hearing the term ‘four more years,’ after the four years we’ve just had?”