Michael de Jong, incumbent Liberal candidate for the Abbotsford West riding, has formally launched his campaign for the the upcoming provincial election.
De Jong, a former lawyer, is seeking his seventh term in office, having first been elected in a 1994 byelection.
He said it is “unfortunate” that BC NDP leader John Horgan called the snap election during a global pandemic.
“He has demonstrated that between the people of BC and the political fortunes of the NDP, Mr. Horgan has chosen to care more about his party’s political future,” de Jong said.
He said he is hearing from people in Abbotsford that they are “angry and frustrated” with Horgan and the NDP, including over the delay of the expansion of the emergency room at Abbotsford Regional Hospital.
“The funds were ready to start construction in 2017, when the BC Liberals were last in government,” de Jong said.
He said people are also frustrated that the NDP cancelled building the third lane on Highway 1, and that commuters are “now spending their days sitting in a highway parking lot.”
De Jong said farmers are angry and upset at the NDP for “discriminating against them and treating them like second-class citizens by removing their rights as land owners.”
“I want to thank the people of Abbotsford for their ongoing encouragement, enabling me to hold the NDP to account for their actions,” he said.
Since being elected in 1994, de Jong has held various cabinet positions, the latest being Minister of Finance. He is currently the Official Opposition Critic of the Attorney General.
De Jong has always made Abbotsford his home base. He went to school at WJ Mouat Secondary, played hockey, started his law practice and began his public service in Abbotsford as a school trustee prior to becoming an MLA.
He said he has worked hard to make sure Abbotsford Regional Hospital was built and supported the David Lede Campus of Care.
De Jong said he secured funding for local school improvements, and improvements to the Mt. Lehman, Clearbrook and McCallum interchanges.
He said he also secured BC government funding for many other projects, including the construction of the new Abbotsford courthouse.
Also running in the Abbotsford West riding so far is NDP candidate Preet Rai.
The riding includes areas to the east of 264 Street (in the Township of Langley); to the north of Highway 1, South Fraser Way and Old Yale Road; and to the west of Highway 11 and Sumas Way. The northern boundary is the Fraser River.