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October 27, 2017 3:22 pm

Liberal Leadership Hopeful Makes a P.G. Stop

Wednesday, September 27, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

Former Minister of Finance,  Mike de Jong makes a stop in Prince George – photo 250News

Prince George, B.C. –  Former Minister of Finance ,  and now candidate for the leadership of the BC Liberals, Mike de Jong   is  the first of the declared candidates to make a  visit to Prince George.

de Jong threw his hat into the  ring yesterday,  and  last evening was meeting  with local Liberal supporters at an event  hosted by  Northern Lights Estate  Winery.

de Jong says  his reason for  seeking the leadership is  simple “experience, passion, and a belief  I can pull together  and re-energize the free enterprise coalition.”

This is not his first  run  for leadership.  He was in the race in 2011,  and lost to  Christy Clark.

de Jong says the party needs to re-earn the trust of British Columbians ” We were a good  government,  we weren’t a perfect government,   but we were a good government.  I think we can  re-earn and re-acquire the  right to govern, but we are going to need the right captain of the team to do it.”

de Jong  says  the  first thing  the Liberals must do is  remain true to their core values ” We are a free enterprise party,  we believe it is the private sector that drives the economy not government.  Government can be there  to support people who get into difficulty, but the private sector is what drives the economy, and we believe, and I believe, the government must manage the taxpayers  money responsibly, not spend more than we receive.   These are things  that we have demonstrated,  and I have demonstrated an ability to do,  but at the same time,  I think  people asked themselves, in some parts of British Columbia,  did we do enough to deploy the benefits of that?

Never one to miss the opportunity to   use a hockey analogy,  de Jong says  the new  Leader of the party  must  be strong enough to hold the NDP  accountable  “Our new captain has to be able to go  into the corners with John Horgan and the NDP when the puck drops and be able to  go toe to toe and hold them to account for what I think are already  some bad decisions.”

The  past election  showed a definite gap between  urban and rural  B.C. and de Jong  says there  is a lesson to be learned  from  that  “We had best be mindful, in my view, of where  a lot of the wealth in  British Columbia is generated,  what the needs of those communities are.  I don’t believe  by the way  that the way to bridge that gap is to  make decisions about foisting the cost of a new bridge  in the lower mainland  which  was serving the needs of  people  thee, foisting the cost of that on  the people of Prince George, or Fort, St John or other parts of Northern British Columbia.”

Michael Lee  also   declared his candidacy for the leadership  yesterday, and while he did visit Prince George a little over a week ago,  was not an officially declared  candidate  at the time.

There are now  six declared  candidates,  Mike de Jong,  Michael Lee,  Dianne Watts,  Sam Sullivan , Mike Bernier and Andrew Wilkinson.   There  remains speculation that  Todd Stone, and  Terrace businesswoman  Lucy  Sager will also  jump into the race.

The  B.C. Liberals will  choose their leader  through online voting on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd of February,  with the winner to be announced at a leadership convention  on February 3rd.




No thanks. The Liberals need some new people at the helm.

    Like Who? Putting an unknown in will almost guarantee a loss. Name recognition is huge in politics. Look at our current Prime minister for example.

    De Jong is probably the best choice so far.

      Dianne Watts is an example of name recognition without the BC Liberal baggage. (Not that I’m ready to vote for her, I’m just giving an example).

      yes put the jong in…the NDP will love it

Oh goody, a jellytot who lacks a spine. I agree, new blood is the key. Dejonk is just another politician who is so entrenched in politics that he has no idea what are the real issues.


Just more of the old guard. More of the old corrupt liberal party looking after corporations versus the citizens on BC. Just say NO !

    Any comment on the old dregs in the NDP?

    I would put up De Jong’s record as finance minister against that of Carol James record the last time the ndp were in power. When they release a full budget next year dollars to donuts that the $3 billion surplus under De Jong’s plan will have gone up in smoke despite all kinds of tax increases.

      Carole James can go dodge traffic, should not be involved in a political arena. Already proved her incompetence.

      Actually, she was the one mainly responsible for reinvigorating the NDP after 2001. That proves her competence, I would say. So does the venom directed at her by right wingers like yourself, after all, why attack someone who is incompetent. As for the 3 million “surplus”, we’ll have to wait and see. I do recall, however, how fast the Liberals got rid of the $2.5 billion surplus left by the NDP in 2001, and the surplus from the year before, before going into debt again.

      You should run as leader sparrow so we could throw some rotten eggs your way instead of hiding under your iPhone.

De Jong says, “… not spend more than we receive. These are things that we have demonstrated …”

That is clearly untrue. The provincial debt increased significantly during the Liberal terms as government, and that would not be the case if they had not spent more than they received. Whether it was necessary for them to do that, as it sometimes is, I do not know, but they clearly spent more than they received and he should acknowledge that, otherwise it might appear to be the same old Liberal flim flam.

    Because you don’t understand the differences between budget, debt and liabilities. Neither does the NDP and just how much do you think the Provincial debt will go up come next April? Tack on the bridges for now and we will see what else they can tack on. Provincial debt also includes crown corps and not just the debt or surplus of government budgets. The 2.7 billion surplus last year will go to pay down some of the Provincial debt. At least the government portion of it.

      Of course I understand the difference between a budget, debt and liabilities. How ridiculous of you to attempt such a ludicrous denigration in an attempt to detract from my point that De Jong stated something untrue, a common Liberal practice over the last 16 years.

      Budget – a piece of paper specifying how much to spend on different items, i.e. a projection, a guesstimate.

      DEBT – How much is owed to another entity, like a bank. This is the area where the Liberals increased their obligations. They borrowed bags of money from someone in order to carry out a political objective, like lower taxes. Some of it they acknowledge, a lot of it is hidden (ICBC, BC Hydro, etc.) Due to this, De Jong’s statement that I quoted is false. Debt increased because the Liberals spent more than they received.

      Liabilities – The plural of liability, the obligations a group has to do something, usually involving the spending of money, although not always, as it could simply increase the debt further when done.

Well firstly we should quit calling these guys and gals Liberals. Watts is a died in the wool Federal Conservative, and if you read the article you would see that
de Jong refers to the party as the free enterprise coalition. So when you vote liberal in this Province you are actually voting for socreds, conservatives, liberals, and God knows what else.

When de Jong talks about tolls on the bridges in Vancouver he fails to mention that they did not put a toll on the Sea to Sky Highway, nor does he mention the fact that the so called Liberals tried to keep the tolls on the Coquihalla Highway and turn this Highway over to a private business. If it was not for the people raising hell in the Southern Interior that would have happened. Furthermore they did not put a toll on the new Okanogan Lake bridge. So seems they want to cherry pick where they put their tolls.

I notice he is silent about the money they pull from ICBC and BC Hydro that goes into General Revenue to balance the budget. Without that (hidden tax) perhaps he couldn’t balance the budget.

de Jong is the wrong man for the job. He is yesterdays man. 23 years in Government with no significant legislation. Huge closures in industry and business,. Huge increase in part time jobs, and not much else.

Time for him to move on down the line.

    Who should it be, Pal? You seem to have all the answers.

      To early to say. We need to see who puts their hats in the ring, and what they are willing to do for the citizens of this Province. I for one am sick and tired of all the BS associated with politics, and how they only look out for themselves.

      The so called Liberals need a purge, with a view of re inventing themselves. Only then can they hope to be given some credibility. Having the same old dogs, gnawing on the same old bones, and feeding at the same old trough is not a solution. It is in fact a recipe for financial disaster.

      I figured as much. I have a feeling that you will have an issue with whoever they put forward. Pretty easy to sit back and poo poo everyone without providing a viable alternative.

      The lone exception is Stevie Harper. Palopu will pitch a tent at the mere mention of his name:D

Considering that the Liberal party in BC is nothing more than a thinly disguised Conservative Party, perhaps they could start a **draft Harper** campaign,. Not sure that Stevie would accept the nomination, but who knows.??

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