“I wish I could do both jobs, but I can’t.”
That’s how Langley City Mayor Peter Fassbender is seeing things the day after the provincial election, which saw him elected as MLA for Surrey-Fleetwood, upsetting three-term NDP MLA Jagrup Brar.
Fassbender got 8,201 votes to Brar’s 7,936.
The mayor of Langley City said he had a great campaign team, led by campaign manager Mike Hillman. He said he got a great response in talking to people face-to-face, including a 15-minute conversation with a union member who was anti-Liberal, but ended with the man shaking his hand and telling him he had his vote.
He said Premier Christy Clark ran a great campaign and was focused on the issue that mattered to people, the economy.
“We all need a strong economy,” Fassbender said. “A healthy business climate allows us to afford the things we want and need.”
Fassbender said his high profile regionally on issues like transit helped him in his campaign, but he said the Liberals had to work hard for every vote, and it all came down to the last poll in his riding.
Fassbender expects to be involved in dialogue between the region and province on transportation and transit issues. He said the future of the region depends on a healthy transportation system.
“It’s not going to be easy, but we need to work on a solution,” he said.
He is looking forward to challenging Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan, an avid NDPer whose wife was re-elected as MLA for Burnaby-Deer Lake. Fassbender said Corrigan has been obstructing progress on transit funding solutions for the past two years, as he was expecting an NDP government.
“I am going to tell him ‘It’s a new government, but I still want to work to find a solution’,” he said.
Fassbender said the hardest part of his win will be leaving his role as Langley City mayor.
“I’m going to city hall right now (Wednesday morning) to talk to staff and council about the future. The next challenge will be to find someone to take my place,” he said.
He does not expect a cabinet seat, given that so many good Liberal MLAs were elected.
“I have an experience and a track record. I will step up and do what she (the premier) asks me to do.”
In another Surrey race with a Langley connection, Langley RCMP Insp. Amrik Virk won the Surrey-Tynehead seat, with 8,425 votes to 6,925 for NDP candidate Avtar Bains. The seat had been held by BC Liberal Dave Hayer since 2001.