The leader of the B.C. New Democratic Party paid a visit to Fernie this weekend. Elk Valley NDP supporters came out to The Arts Station on Saturday morning to hear Adrian Dix speak, as well as Kootenay-East NDP candidate, Norma Blissett.
Blissett took the stage first to give the crowd a bit of an introduction of herself and what she can bring to the table as a representative of the Kootenay-East region.
“It’s about listening to the people and bringing those concerns to Victoria, and having our voice heard and doing what’s best for our communities,” stated Blissett. “What I’ve realised in going to different communities, is even within our small corner of the world there’s big differences.”
“Cranbrook is very different from Fernie, and Fernie is different from Sparwood. Maybe Sparwood and Elkford have a little more in common, but there are still differences there.”
“So that’s my job. To hear you and to represent you.”
Blissett went on to say, “You have a wonderful town. In talking to people this summer, I’m certainly under the impression that your economy is doing well, your coal mines are doing well, you have tourism in the economy, and you have a vibrant downtown. That’s wonderful, it’s great here, and let’s work on making that continue and grow.”
Following Blissett’s speech, she introduced Adrian Dix, who is stopping into as many B.C. communities as he can in preparation for the upcoming provincial election this May.
“What you want to do if you’re running as the leader of a party is you have to go out and meet people,” commented Dix. “You want to understand the real issues a little bit and you have to know the problems.”
Dix went on to endorse Blissett and how she would serve as the potential MLA in the Kootenay-East riding. “I’m here obviously in support of our candidate, Norma Blissett, and to meet with people in the community,” he said. “This is an important constituency. We have a great candidate who knows forestry, who knows the education system, is committed to the community, and will do a great job.”
Dix went on to outline what the NDP party’s overall goal is. He stressed that the party is working towards change for the better for all of the communities, big and small, in B.C.
“I think the term ‘community’ is important,” remarked Dix. “What we’re proposing is a government that’s more responsive to the needs of communities.”
“For communities like Fernie to succeed, they need to make sure that their infrastructure is in good shape, that their basic health and education services are in good shape, and that’s what brings people into communities.”
Dix and Blissett had been in Cranbrook the previous evening speaking to residents there. Following their stop in Fernie, the NDP leader and candidate went on to spend the rest of the afternoon in Sparwood.