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Mike de Jong seeking federal Conservative nomination

Mike de Jong speaks to reporters at the B.C. legislature after announcing he won't seek re-election in the province on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024. Mike de Jong speaks to reporters at the B.C. legislature after announcing he won't seek re-election in the province on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024.
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Veteran B.C. politician Mike de Jong has announced he's seeking a nomination to run for the federal Conservative Party in the next election.

The B.C. United MLA, who was first elected to the provincial legislature in 1994, confirmed his bid to represent Pierre Poilievre's party in the Abbotsford-South Langley riding on Wednesday.

In a statement, de Jong referenced Tuesday's federal budget, accusing Prime Minster Justin Trudeau of having an "insatiable willingness to pile more crushing debt on the shoulders of Canadians."

"In times of both challenge and prosperity, I have remained unwavering in my dedication to fiscal responsibility, ensuring that we live within our means while investing in the priorities that matter most to our community," de Jong said.

The 61-year-old confirmed he would be leaving provincial politics in February, but alluded to a possible federal run. 

The long-time MLA has held a number of key cabinet roles during his three decades in B.C. politics, including health minister and attorney general.

He was the finance minister when his party – under its previous name, the BC Liberals – was voted out of office in 2017. After taking power, the NDP accused the Liberals of having left the provincial auto-insurer, ICBC, in a "financial dumpster fire," with a projected net loss of $1.3 billion that fiscal year. 

But de Jong also boasted tabling five consecutive balanced budgets.

During B.C.'s money laundering inquiry in 2022, de Jong acknowledged his government bore some responsibility for failing to address rampant money laundering in casinos that took place from 2015 to 2017, while he was gaming minister. 

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