You’ve probably heard of Adrian Dix. He’s the provincial leader of the NDP and MLA for Vancouver-Kingsway.
You probably haven’t heard of Gurjit Dhillon.
But the 34-year-old mother of two young kids and a recruiting coordinator for the RCMP wants to not only have you get to know her, but pick her over Dix in the May 14 election.
A very confident Dhillon is the B.C. Liberals candidate for the riding of Vancouver-Kingsway and has arguably the biggest challenge of any of the party’s candidates in facing a man who could be the next premier of the province.
Dix, 48, has a long history in the provincial government, having first been elected in 2005 and winning the party’s leadership race in 2011. He was also chief of staff to former premier Glen Clark in the late 1990s.
So does Dhillon, who is taking her first run at politics, think she has a chance of beating Dix?
“That’s where my challenge is — in convincing people that I am the person for them,” said Dhillon, who was acclaimed Feb. 19 as the Liberals’ candidate at a meeting held at the Renfrew Community Centre. “I will try my hardest to reach out to all of the people of Vancouver-Kingsway. You can’t help anything if you don’t get involved. Don’t you feel that? How can you complain about something if you’re not willing to step up.”
Although the Liberals haven’t released their campaign platform, Dhillon said her priorities for the riding are a strong economy and quality education.
The B.C. Teachers’ Federation has repeatedly criticized the Liberals on education. But Dhillon said that criticism is coming from one group and not reflective of all voters.
Dhillon, born and raised in Terrace, moved to Vancouver in 1998.
She lives with her family in the riding of Vancouver-Kensington, which is next to Vancouver-Kingsway.
Dhillon said she will take a leave from her job March 13 as a recruiting coordinator at the B.C. RCMP, where she has worked for seven years. Prior to her job with the RCMP, Dhillon worked at Vancouver General Hospital for three years as a unit clerk, assisting doctors and nurses.
Though Dix has held the riding since 2005, Vancouver-Kingsway was once held by Rob Nijjar of the Liberals.