Adrian Dix and Westside Kelowna NDP candidate Carole Gordon were busy door knocking before making a stop at the downtown Streaming Cafe today.
Dix was happy to announce the NDP campaign has already made big gains by forcing the Liberal government to back down on its controversial wage increases for political staff. Gordon's byelection campaign is to thank, he says.
"The first thing the Premier did when she got into office was pass an order to council to raise the salary for her political assistants," Dix says, while at the same time throwing in new fees for wheelchair users.
Not all of the Liberal party wages were rolled back, he says. Clark is standing firmly behind a hefty wage increase for her Deputy Chief of Staff, initially amounting to an annual salary of $195,000.
Dix says Clark's reasoning that the Deputy Chief is doing two jobs in one doesn't sit well with the public.
"The fact of the matter is many British Columbians are actually doing two jobs to pay their mortgages, to support their kids," he says.
"They're the ones who are paying the taxes for these wage increases."
While out door knocking Gordon says her constituents shared their unhappiness about the Premier's spending.
"The pay raises were offensive to many of the people here in Westside Kelowna," she says. "People here work really hard to survive. It's a difficult area in terms of affordability and many of them are working two and three jobs."
Dix and Clark also criticized the increased wheelchair tax for those already struggling to pay for health care. They say it's a sign of the Premier's disconnect from her constituents, particularly the more vulnerable senior population. Dix called the tax increase, "unfair and wrong".
Another issue they raised was the loss of private sector jobs in B.C. Dix says residents are heading to other provinces in search of work, "a failure of the government's job plan."
Under the former NDP government Dix says more people were coming to the province than leaving. Whereas under Premier Clark's government Dix says more residents are leaving than staying.
"Which I suppose makes her a leader in Alberta's economic development," he says.
Gordon also expressed her concern over the rising unemployment rate and, "the fact that B.C. is in the bottom two across Canada in terms of economic growth."
Both Dix and Gordon say they are still waiting for Clark to commit to an all-candidates (debate), especially since she is lacking the "deep roots" the other candidates have in Kelowna. Gordon has lived in Kelowna for 40 years, teaches here and has children who go to school in the area and says she is fully committed to representing the Westside.
"Clark is looking to be a part-time MLA," she says.
To contact the reporter for this story, email Julie Whittet at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (250)718-0428.