Bill Barisoff says Mike de Jong his First Choice for BC Liberal Leader

BURNABY – Bill Barisoff, the retired Southern Okanagan MLA and former Speaker of the B.C. Legislature, announced today that Mike de Jong is his first choice as the next leader of the BC Liberals.

“Mike de Jong is my first choice because he’s the kind of leader we need – and he is ready to lead on his first day on the job. He doesn’t need any time to get ready – he’s ready now,” Barisoff said. “I worked with Mike and I know he can take the fight to John Horgan and the NDP, and he can begin the critical work needed to renew the party and get ready to win the next election.”

Barisoff was an MLA from 1996 until 2013, and served in cabinet as Minister of Provincial Revenue, and Minister of Water, Land and Air Protection before becoming Speaker in 2005. As the second-longest serving Speaker in B.C. history, Barisoff was responsible for working with each and every MLA to making sure the Legislature worked smoothly and fairly.

“I sat with Mike in Opposition and I sat with him in government. There’s no one better to make full use of the Legislature to keep the NDP’s feet to the fire, and to make sure we renew the BC Liberal Party,” Barisoff said. “Mike not only knows how to deliver balanced budgets, he has a vision about investing more in education, in healthcare, and in affordability to make sure people feel the benefits of the strong economy we build 

Mike de Jong now has many MLAs, former MLAs, MPs, and community leaders supporting him from around the province (see list below).

The BC Liberal party will hold a leadership convention to announce the new leader on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018.

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Backgrounder

Team de Jong members

Bill Barisoff (MLA Penticton (Southern Okanagan) former Cabinet Minister, and former Speaker of the B.C. Legislature)

Pat Bell (MLA Prince George-Mackenzie and former Cabinet Minister)

Mike Bernier (MLA Peace River South and former Cabinet Minister)

Stephanie Cadieux (MLA Surrey South and former Cabinet Minister)

Ron Cantelon (Former MLA Nanaimo-Parksville and former Cabinet Minister)

Dan Davies (MLA Peace River North)

Ed Fast (Member of Parliament, Abbotsford and former Federal Minister of International Trade)

Simon Gibson (MLA Abbotsford-Mission)

Wanda Good (2017 BC Liberal Candidate, Stikine and former Gitanyow deputy chief councillor)

Al Horning (Former MLA Kelowna-Lake Country, former MP Okanagan Centre)

John Martin (MLA Chilliwack 

Rob Nijjar (Former MLA Vancouver-Kingsway)

Patty Sahota (Former MLA Burnaby-Edmonds and former Cabinet Minister)

Bill Streeper (Mayor Fort Nelson)

Teresa Wat (MLA Richmond North Centre and former Cabinet Minister)

Jack Weisgerber (Former MLA Peace River South – and former Socred Cabinet Minister and Reform BC Leader)