Former MLA Ida Chong makes Mike de Jong her First Choice

VICTORIA – Former MLA and cabinet Minister Ida Chong is the latest BC Liberal to declare that Mike de Jong is her first choice to be the next leader of the party.

“Mike de Jong has the experience our party and our province needs in a leader. Mike is ready today to take on the NDP inside and outside the legislature – and start renewing our party and regaining support from people across the province,” Chong said. “I’m pleased he wants to renew and refresh the party – it’s something many members are telling me is important to them. Mike has the experience and the ideas to make this happen.”

Chong was the MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head from 1996 to 2013. She was one of the first two Chinese-Canadian members of the BC Legislative Assembly. She served in cabinet in a variety of posts, including Minister of Advanced Education, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, and Minister of Small Business, Technology and Economic Development.

“In all our years together in opposition and in government, Mike was always a supportive colleague and a mentor to his fellow MLAs. That’s the kind of quality we need in a leader,” Chong said. “Mike is the right leader for our party – right now in Opposition and in the coming months and years ahead to renew the team, rebuild the party, and win back the support that will win the next election.”

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

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

Bill Belsey (Former MLA North Coast, former BC Liberal Party Vice President)

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

Anneke Bruce (long-time BC Liberal volunteer)

Graham Bruce (former MLA Cowichan-Ladysmith and former Cabinet Minister)

Stephanie Cadieux (MLA Surrey South and former Cabinet Minister)

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

Ida Chong (Former MLA Oak Bay-Gordon Head and former Cabinet Minister)

Rich Coleman (MLA Langley East, Former Deputy Premier and Cabinet Minister, Leader of the Official Opposition)

Dan Davies (MLA Peace River North)

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

Simon Gibson (MLA Abbotsford-Mission)

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

Arnie Hamilton (Former MLA Esquimalt-Metchosin)

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)

Dallas Smith (2017 BC Liberal Candidate, North Island, and former president of the Nanwakolas Council)

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)