John Aldag lost the election to serve a second term as MP for the Cloverdale-Langley City riding on Oct. 21 to Conservative Tamara Jansen, but he’s already planning a comeback.
“Let’s just say I kept my campaign signs,” Aldag said.
Aldag says he plans to seek the Liberal nomination for Cloverdale-Langley City and wants to run again whenever the next election takes place.
“We are competitive in this riding,” Aldag noted.
His election in 2015 was something of a surprise, as Cloverdale-Langley City was a new riding, but one that was composed of parts of ridings that had all elected Conservative MPs in the prior election. In 2019, Jansen won with 37.7 per cent of the vote, with Aldag in second place at 35.2 per cent, and the NDP’s Rae Banwarie in third at 18.9 per cent.
With a minority Parliament in Ottawa, the election date remains up in the air. The Liberals will remain in power only as long as they can continue to win confidence votes and pass budgets, which means an election could theoretically come any time in the next four years.
But the aftermath of the election has also meant a lot of work shutting down his offices in Ottawa and locally as Jansen takes over as MP.
That means properly disposing of old constituency assistance files and wrapping up a lot of paperwork, closing down his local campaign office, shutting down his office in Ottawa, and renting out his Ottawa condo to a Liberal MP.
Aldag got back from Ottawa this week.
“I’m home and kind of giving my head a shake and saying, ‘Okay, what is next?’” he said.
In the meantime, Aldag intends to stay connected with his former constituents.
“My intention is to remain involved in the community,” he said.
On the political side, Aldag has taken up a post as the organization chair of the Cloverdale-Langley City Liberal riding association.
He is also launching a petition calling for the Liberal government to fully fund TransLink’s request of $375 million for the next phase of transit funding. He’ll be collecting signatures into January, Aldag said.
He’s also planning to hold public town halls on issues of local interest starting in January or February, and he plans to reconstitute a youth council.
With local lobbying efforts, he’s planning to work through his former Liberal colleagues in the House of Commons, Aldag said.
Before he ran for election, Aldag was known as the manager of the Fort Langley National Historic Site. He took a leave of absence from that job to run because federal employees can’t be politically active, and his involvement with the local Liberal riding association means he can’t go back to working for Parks Canada either, Aldag said.
He isn’t sure what sort of job he’ll seek out yet, but he will be volunteering, including collecting for the Salvation Army Christmas Kettle Campaign.
Meanwhile, Cloverdale-Langley City’s new MP, Jansen, will be able to take her seat in Parliament for the first time when the House resumes sitting on Dec. 5 for the first time since the election.