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Veteran B.C. politician Mike de Jong to leave legislature, mulls federal run

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VICTORIA -

Veteran British Columbia politician Mike de Jong has announced he will leave the legislature after a 30-year career in government and opposition.

De Jong, who was first elected as a B.C. Liberal in a Fraser Valley byelection in 1994, says the time has come to leave the provincial legislature, but it may not be the end of his days in politics.

De Jong, who's 61, says he's considering seeking the nomination to run in the upcoming federal election for the Conservatives.

He says he has yet to make a formal decision to run federally, but if he does it will likely be in the Abbotsford area where he lives.

The eight-term member of the B.C. legislature says he will remain sitting in his Abbotsford West riding as a member of the Opposition BC United for the spring legislative session but will not run in the upcoming fall election.

De Jong held several cabinet posts in successive B.C. Liberal governments, including finance, attorney general, Aboriginal relations and reconciliation, labour and forests, and served as government house leader.

“After 30 years, there's an element of wanting to take a little bit more time,” he said at a news conference Wednesday. “It's a big decision (running federally) and an important one, and I'll take some time to consider what that may look like.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 14, 2024.

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