Liberal leadership candidate visits Vernon

Mike de Jong says he’s the right person for the job

  • Oct. 11, 2017 12:12 p.m.

The B.C. Liberals need a captain that will “go into the corners” with the NDP, and Mike de Jong says he’s the right person for the job.

“They (NDP) carry their sticks and elbows pretty high,” the Liberal leadership hopeful said during a stop at the Schubert Centre Tuesday.

“We have to demonstrate that we can professionally and competently hold the NDP government to account, and we need a captain that possesses the skills and energy necessary to do that, and I think I’m the guy.”

Also seeking the leadership are Sam Sullivan, Andrew Wilkinson, Lucy Sager, Dianne Watts, Todd Stone, Mike Bernier and Michael Lee.

De Jong feels his experience as finance minister and desire to reconnect the Liberals to voters will motivate him over the next few months.

“We are electing a captain of our team and we hope that captain will eventually go on to be premier, but before that we are electing an opposition leader.”

He said the party knows this time it needs to elect a leader who can fight to restore the party to power and hold the “new government to account.”

Drawing on his five consecutive years balancing the province’s books as finance minister, the Abbotsford-based farmer told local constituents he’s comfortable with his “old-fashioned” approach to paying off debt, spending within his means and saving for the future.

“Under my tenure as finance minister, British Columbia became the leading economy in the country — now that’s a team effort…but we created more jobs in British Columbia than anywhere else in Canada.That’s security for families in Vernon that are sitting around the kitchen table wondering what they’re going to do,” he said.

De Jong says he’s prepared for an uphill battle to earn back the voters’ confidence, which is why he is leading a province-wide tour to reconnect with British Columbians.

“We were a good government—we were not a perfect government. That’s why we’re in opposition,” he conceded. “But have you ever heard of an incoming government, in this case, the NDP government, forced to concede that British Columbia is actually in better shape than they thought it was? I have never heard of that, and yet, they have had to admit that while at the same time, responding to that by raising taxes.”

To hear some of what de Jong had to say Tuesday, click below.

Oh Captain, my captain? BC Liberal Party leadership candidate Mike de Jong says he wants to "captain" the BC Liberals. The former finance minister is on the campaign trail hoping to "earn back" votes for the BC Liberals. de Jong stopped in Vernon around lunch time today and will stop in Kelowna and Penticton later this week. #MikedeJongbcliberalparty addresses the crowd gathered for a meet and greet with the former cabinet minister in the Ruby Room at the #schubertcentre on 30th Avenue Tuesday afternoon.

Vernon Morning Star 发布于 2017年10月10日

erin.christie@vernonmorningstar.com

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