There may be an opening in the B.C. New Democratic party for a new leader with the resignation of Adrian Dix but Kootenay West MLA, Katrine Conroy isn’t applying for the job.
Dix announced his resignation in Vancouver Wednesday, taking responsibility for the surprising loss to the B.C. Liberals in the May provincial election.
“It has become clear to me that the best interests of our party mean that I need to step aside for a new leader who can lead us to victory in 2017,” said Dix. “It is my hope that a leadership vote can be held by mid-2014 at the latest, though of course any final decision on timing will be made by the NDP.”
Dix said he intends to stay on as MLA for Vancouver-Kingsway and run for re-election there.
Speaking from the UBCM conference in Vancouver Thursday, Conroy said Dix’s announcement was an emotional experience but saw the move as being an example of his leadership style.
“He’s doing the honourable thing, putting the good of the caucus and the party first,” she said. “I think he’s done a good job as leader even if it didn’t go well in the election. It’s good that he’s staying on until a new leader can be chosen, which is a hard position to be in but I think it shows his character.”
Although there are already stirrings in the media about potential contenders for the leadership position, Conroy says she doesn’t think anyone within the party will be jumping to any conclusions immediately.
“There’s already all kinds of speculation out there but within the party I think most people are saying, ‘let’s just let things settle’ before deciding anything,” she said. “I think people are just waiting at this point. It could end up being a long leadership race, which can be hard.”
Asked if she was considering a run at the leadership her answer was unequivocal.
“No. Not a chance. I’m very happy being MLa for Kootenay West” said Conroy. “I’ve had a few people ask me that and I’m always surprised that they even ask.
“I think the new leader should be someone already in the legislature, it’s important that they hit the ground running, that’s what I’ll be looking for. We need someone who is ready to fight the Liberals and hold them to account. They’re already failing to live up to promises they made in the election. We’ve lost 12,000 jobs in the province since they started their Jobs Plan. There are so many people from our area having to leave to find work in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Whatever they’re doing it’s not working.”
Conroy was first elected MLA for the West-Kootenay Boundary riding in 2005 and held her seat in the legislature until it was dissolved in 2009 and re-distributed. She won re-election in the new riding of Kootenay West in 2009 and has continued serving since then.