Adrian Dix — off the cuff
Who is BC NDP leader Adrian Dix?
We know quite a bit about Dix’s political history, including his time working as chief of staff under NDP premier Glen Clark in the late 1990s, as well as his more recent work as an MLA, keeping East Vancouver schools from being closed, fighting to reverse the HST and a strong concern for seniors’ rights. But who is Dix when he isn’t criss-crossing the province, shaking hands and giving speeches, in a lead up to the May election?
The Times sat down with him on his visit to Langley on Monday to find out.
Q -If you could sit down and have dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would it be and why?
A - Given the role I’m in right now, I would say Tommy Douglas. But I am fascinated by African history so I would also say (African freedom fighter) Patrice Lumumba.
Q - On that note, what is your favourite meal?
A - Salmon, you gotta love wild B.C. salmon. I can get a meal on the table in 45 minutes but it’s not fancy. The idea of something like paprika is a bit much for me.
Q - Are you a beer or wine connoisseur? Or neither?
A -I have Type 1 diabetes so I don’t really drink. But if I do have a glass it is exclusively B.C. wine, of course.
Q - Your wife is a writer and a poet. You must be an avid reader. What are you reading right now?
Dix’s reading list is long but among what he is reading is The Art of the Impossible by Rod Mickleburgh and Geoff Meggs which details the Dave Barrett years and Escape to Gold Mountain by David H.T. Wong, a graphic history of the Chinese in North America.
Q - Favourite B.C. sporting team?
A - (As he is a huge sports fan, this is his condensed answer). Every WHL team, especially Kamloops. I have been to more Giants games than Canucks this year. I love the Vancouver Canadians and was at the first game they ever played at Nat Bailey Stadium in the 1970s. I used to follow local All-Star Wrestling but it’s like a metaphor for the problems facing our local economy — globalization killed local wrestling.
Q - What’s playing on your iPod?
A - I don’t have an iPod. I don’t even get FM radio anymore in my 1991 Volvo. I’ve had three cars in my life. I had a 1982 Chevette and 1982 Volvo. I only buy cars when the NDP come into office. My wife is hopeful for a new car in 2013. But for music, I’m really into Living Color right now.
Q - You were raised in B.C., went to UBC, and other than living in France for a while you have lived here. What do you love most about B.C.?
A - It’s the variety of beauty. Kamloops’ terrain is very different from the Coast, for example. But most of all it’s home.
Q - Do you have a favourite vacation spot in B.C.?
A - Harrison Hot Springs. We spent New Year’s Eve at the Harrison Hot Springs Resort in the Copper Room with the Jones Brothers playing. Harrison is where we went every summer when I was growing up and where I still love to go. But I love the Fraser and visiting towns close to it like Fort Langley. We are trying to reclaim the Fraser — that’s exciting to me.
Q - How do you stay in shape?
A - Not nearly as well as I used to. When I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in my 20s, I was just about to do the Vancouver marathon. You never realize how good our health care system is until you need it, like I did back then. I still play basketball when I get the chance.
Q - What do you do to relax?
A - I’m fairly shy by nature and my wife Renee is the outgoing one. She just finished a book so when both of us have had a fairly intense day, we like to sit together and read or go for a walk together. Being with Renee is my way to relax.
Q - How are you celebrating your 49th birthday April 20?
A - I have a feeling I will be spending many birthdays, like this one, having a fundraiser. Next year, I’m sure the tickets will be $50.
Q - What gets you fired up when it comes to B.C. issues?
A - The growing inequality in our province. For example, an 18 or 19-year-old has to have post secondary education in order to get a job these days, yet who can afford school? Everyone deserves a fair chance at life.
Q - The world would be a better place if people would just . . . A - be more respectful of one another. That’s why we are not running attack ads. We can disagree without being disagreeable. I want to have respectful debate. Politicians have really messed up their own garden in that respect.