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Dix picks critics for NDP opposition

NDP leader Adrian Dix - Black Press
NDP leader Adrian Dix
— image credit: Black Press

VICTORIA – Carole James' collection of aboriginal art is gone from the NDP leader's office at the B.C. legislature, and her name was missing from the "shadow cabinet" lineup announced by new leader Adrian Dix Tuesday.

Dix said he discussed with James her role in the legislative session that begins Wednesday, and she wanted to concentrate on representing her Victoria-Beacon Hill constituency rather than play a leading role after seven years as party leader.

"Carole is one of my closest advisors," Dix said. "She's going to have a very significant role on my team and we'll be developing that as time goes on."

Dix named leadership runner-up Mike Farnworth to succeed him as NDP health critic. Third-place finisher John Horgan returns to his previous role as energy critic, and takes over from Farnworth as NDP house leader, a job that comes with a $20,000-a-year pay premium.

Surrey-Whalley MLA Bruce Ralston continues as NDP finance critic, and will play a prominent role as the B.C. Liberal government goes through debate on a $40 billion budget tabled before their own leadership contest in February. The B.C. legislature resumes sitting Wednesday and is expected to continue until June 2.

Dix repeated his promise to offer "positive proposals for change" from a B.C. government that he said has offered few ideas since being re-elected nearly two years ago.

Other contenders from the NDP leadership retained jobs in an NDP lineup similar to what was left behind by James. Fraser-Nicola MLA Harry Lali is critic for community and rural development, and Powell River-Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons is assigned to community living and social development.

North Island MLA Claire Trevena takes over as children and family development critic, and New Westminster MLA Dawn Black is the party's nominee for assistant deputy speaker.

The full list of NDP critics can be found here.

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