Peter Fassbender has heard speculation that if he wins the Langley City mayor’s job, he might leave it for provincial politics if there was a B.C. election, and he wants to make it very clear that won’t happen.
“I will be here for the full term,” Fassbender said.
Fassbender stepped down part way through his term as Langley City mayor when he was elected MLA for Surrey-Fleetwood in the 2013 provincial election. He was Minister of Education, then served as minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development and minister responsible for TransLink.
During the most recent provincial election, he was defeated by the NDP candidate.
Now, the Langley resident is looking to get his old job back.
When asked if he is re-connecting with Langley City voters, Fassbender corrects the questioner.
“I don’t think I ever lost that connection.”
Fassbender said he has been connecting with residents, one door at a time, going out daily to knock on doors and introduce himself as the candidate for mayor.
Most people don’t have too much trouble recognizing him.
He has run into the occasional teacher who is not a fan of the former provincial minister, but Fassbender says most people, even the critics, are “very pleasant, very courteous” as they explain they won’t be voting for him.
“I did not do anything against teachers, he said, pointing out that he was able to negotiate a six-year contract, the longest agreement ever reached with the B.C. Teachers’ Federation
“The key is negotiated and longest,” he said.
There are some advantages, Fassbender said, to having a mayor with inside knowledge of how the provincial and federal governments operate.
He was no stranger to dealing with senior levels of government before, but his time as education minister in cabinet has “refined my perspective.”
His campaign slogan is “Proven Record — Strong Vision,” seen on his signs and his website, www.peterfassbender.ca.
While Fassbender’s prior experience and name recognition would appear to make him the front-runner in the campaign, he said he isn’t taking anything for granted.
“I do not assume anything,” he said.