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B.C. MLA Mike De Jong giving 'serious consideration' to running federally


After three decades in provincial politics, BC United’s Mike de Jong says he's giving “serious consideration” to an offer to run for Pierre Poilievre's federal Conservatives.

“I’ve indicated a willingness to consider it, haven’t ruled it in—haven’t ruled it out,” said de Jong on Wednesday.

The MLA for Abbotsford West, de Jong is a former finance minister, attorney general and health minister. He says he's been approached before to run federally, but this time is different.

“I like the fact that in Mr. Poilievre there's a leader that’s prepared to talk about the dangers of the level of spending, the levels of debt and deficit,” he said.

High-profile BC United MLA Ellis Ross announced he's switching to the federal Conservatives in the next election. If de Jong makes the same call, it would be a big loss for BC United, says Hamish Telford, a political scientist at the University of the Fraser Valley.

“Given BC United’s struggle in the polls right now, to lose a candidate of this stature, I think is a big blow to them,” said Telford.

BC United leader Kevin Falcon issued a statement Wednesday noting it would be “perfectly normal” for de Jong to consider the move, adding “BC United is laser-focused on the issues that matter most to British Columbians, like our crumbling health-care system, serious public safety concerns and skyrocketing costs of living.”

Targeting health care as an election issue is on full display for BC United. On Tuesday it announced, Dr. Claudine Storness-Bliss, an obstetrician and gynecologist, was its candidate in Surrey-Cloverdale.

And on Wednesday it announced a retired surgeon, Dr. Michael Humer, would be its candidate in Kelowna Centre in the upcoming election.

De Jong said he will announce his decision soon, saying “stay tuned.” Top Stories

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