It may not be the best week in B.C. to use a hockey analogy, but Mike de Jong doesn’t mind.
The five-term Abbotsford MLA who has served the province as health and finance minister believes his Liberal party has a great team, and is rallying from what he termed “four goals down” entering the “third period” of B.C.’s election campaign.
“We’ve made three of those goals up,” said de Jong, in Vernon Thursday morning supporting Vernon-Monashee candidate Eric Foster. “We’re still a goal down but momentum is an important thing and I think we can make up the difference in the last four days.
“We’ve got a great team with four strong lines. I hope people will compare our lineup to the talent on the other bench,” a reference to the provincial NDP party.
Keeping with the hockey theme, de Jong called Foster a great teammate and said the Liberals have an outstanding playing-coach and captain in Premier Christy Clark.
“She is out there articulating in clear unambiguous terms what we stand for, our platform built around job creation and investment, fiscal prudence and a balanced budget, it’s a pretty clear choice,” said de Jong, accompanied to Vernon by his partner, former Liberal MLA Patty Sahota.
“I came up today to make sure people understand what a great job Eric has done for the area. He’s pushed projects like the Polson Tower and additional floors (at Vernon Jubilee Hospital) across the finish line by being passionate and tenacious, but always being constructive.”
In the Okanagan, said de Jong, he feels an emerging momentum as the campaign draws to a close, and that “free enterprise winds are blowing again.” Those winds, he said, gather their strength in the Okanagan Valley.
“I think the choice is now beginning to crystallize in peoples’ minds between a free enterprise government – and there’s only one party with an opportunity to form a free enterprise government who stands for respecting the taxpayer, balanced budgets, private sector economic growth and job creation, or the NDP led by Mr. (Adrian) Dix which is pretty much what we saw in the 1990s,” said de Jong. “He won’t ever commit to balancing the peoples’ budget, he’s gone around the province throwing money off the back of the truck – $3 billion at last count – and he’ll take us down that spiral that we saw in the 1990s…
“We’ve seen it all before. The only thing worse than a bad movie is a bad sequel.”