Nelson-Creston MLA Michelle Mungall supported NDP leadership candidate Adrian Dix

Nelson-Creston MLA Michelle Mungall supported NDP leadership candidate Adrian Dix

Mungall pleased with Dix win

Nelson-Creston MLA Michelle Mungall says she’s delighted Adrian Dix is the NDP’s new leader, but doesn’t expect anything in return for backing his campaign.

Nelson-Creston MLA Michelle Mungall says she’s delighted Adrian Dix is the NDP’s new leader, but doesn’t expect anything in return for backing his campaign.

“That’s not how Adrian got my support at all,” she said in an interview. “That’s not how he works in general. He didn’t make any backroom deals or promises.”

Mungall says Dix “put forward a platform that showed he’s bold and creative and that’s what I think is going to win the next election.”

Party members narrowly chose Dix over Mike Farnworth on Sunday on the third ballot. The party hasn’t released riding-by-riding breakdowns — it says it didn’t keep such statistics — but if it had, Mungall has no doubt what the numbers would show.

“Definitely, the vast majority of Nelson-Creston members — we had 423 — supported Adrian. That’s what they told me.”

Mungall says she considers local party members “a very good litmus test for what’s going on in the province … I felt it in my gut that Adrian would take it.”

She doesn’t, however, think Dix’s small margin of victory will cause further divisions in the party. “Throughout this campaign, we’ve all remained friends and have been respectful,” she says.

Mungall, a Carole James loyalist, admits some in the party still feel the former leader should never have been pushed out. “Absolutely. It’s still very shocking how it all unfolded in a few months. But that was then, this is now. We have to move forward.”

She wouldn’t say who she preferred between Dix and James: “That was never the choice. To hash that out, it’s a moot point.”

Nor would she offer an opinion on whether the party is better positioned to win an election than six months ago: “I don’t have a crystal ball. I couldn’t tell you that.”

While campaigning for the leadership Dix visited Nelson in February and attended a Jumbo Wild rally. He returned for an all-candidates debate in March.

He also stated that he would restore some services to Kootenay Lake Hospital cut by the Liberal government. Dix says his $40 million rural acute care plan would provide onsite access to a 24-hour CT scanner, general surgery, and critical care beds in Nelson.

Dix also had the support of former Nelson-Creston MLA Lorne Nicolson, while Corky Evans supported Mike Farnworth, as did Kootenay West MLA Katrine Conroy.