Mike de Jong is the Liberal candidate running in the riding of Abbotsford West. (Special to The Star)

Mike de Jong is the Liberal candidate running in the riding of Abbotsford West. (Special to The Star)

Candidate Q&A: Mike de Jong

He is the Liberal candidate running in the riding of Abbotsford West

Mike de Jong, Liberal Party

MLA incumbent, age 57

BIO:

Michael de Jong was re-elected in 2017 as the MLA for Abbotsford West.

He was first elected to the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia in a 1994 by-election. De Jong serves as the official opposition’s Attorney General critic.

The six-term MLA has served as minister of finance, minister of health, attorney general, minister of Aboriginal relations and reconciliation, as well as minister of labour and citizens’ services, and forests. In addition, he also served as government house leader. He has chaired the treasury board and the legislative review committee, was a member of the cabinet working group on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), the priorities and planning committee, and the cabinet working group on core review.

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Facebook: www.facebook.com/michaeldejongbc

Twitter: @Mike_de_Jong

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CANDIDATE Q&A:

To help voters make their choices on election day, the Aldergrove Star is asking local candidates a series of questions on issues of importance, inviting each candidate to participate.

They were asked to a ‘yes’, a ‘no,’ or a ‘don’t know’ (Y,N,D) response to EACH of the numbered questions for the grid published in the Oct. 15 edition of The Star.

Candidates were also invited to expand on ANY OR ALL of the questions (to a maximum of 250 words each), with one of their choice to be included in our print edition on Oct. 22. Here’s all their replies.

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Should the B.C. government speed up the widening of Highway One into the Eastern Fraser Valley?

Yes. Despite inheriting funds to widen highway #1 in 2017, the NDP chose to ignore the needs of Abbotsford residences and as a result has turned the TransCanada highway into a parking lot.

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Should the planned SkyTrain extension through Langley be extended to Abbotsford in the near future

Yes, sky train or light rapid transit following a feasibility study.

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Is lowering taxes the best route to economic recovery from the COVID-19 recession?

Yes, reducing taxes in a way that leaves more money in people’s pockets is ultimately the best way to promote increased economic activity. The elimination of the PST for one year and maintaining it at a reduced rate of 3% in the second year will generate savings for average families of between $1,000 and $1,700 in year one and between $500 and $1,000 per year thereafter. These are savings that families will be able to use on purchasing priorities that are important to them and in-turn helps to create jobs for others.

As Finance Minister, overseeing a $50 Billion budget, I achieved 5 successive balanced budgets. Although, the COVID pandemic necessitated deficit spending to maintain public services, establishing a plan that will eventually return to balance budgets will ultimately ensure that future generations are not burdened by unsustainable debt levels.

Government investments in families will pay rich rewards especially in education, childcare, supportive seniors housing. Also accelerated infrastructure spending that does not include the NDP’s discriminatory procurement policies.

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