Liberal leadership candidate Mike de Jong is in Vernon this afternoon to to sell himself as the next leader of the BC Liberal Party.
De Jong is speaking at the Schubert Centre from 12:30 to 2 pm.
De Jong says he knows people want to hear new ideas.
“That’s why you’re going to hear me talk a lot of about education, about eliminating any financial impediment to young people. getting the training, getting the education they need going forward.”
De Jong says fiscal responsibility will be theme of his campaign.
He says governments owe a duty to taxpayers to live within their means and not spend more taxpayers money than is received.
“Someone said the other day, well, that’s old fashioned. Well, if respecting the taxpayers is old fashioned, if maintaining balanced budgets is old fashioned. call me old fashioned.”
De Jong says he thinks people want a more open government and he’s committed to working to that transparency.
When it comes to homelessness, de Jong says it’s going to take partnerships to deal with it.
“There is a lot of private sector interest, a lot of private sector desire to construct housing options that can meet the needs for the whole market.”
He says Vernon is a community that can be a model for that.
De Jong think much of the the NDP’s electoral reform referendum.
He says he thinks the fix is in and the question is complicated and designed to elicit a specific response
De Jong says by sheer weight of numbers, Metro Vancouver will have the ability to determine the outcome.
“It certainly I know troubles a lot of people in the Okanagan, in Vernon. The threshold is very low. The populated parts of the Lower Mainland will dictate the result. I think that’s wrong.”
De Jong says it shows another broken promise by the NDP.
As for the number of candidates seeking the leadership, now at 8 with Todd Stone jumping in, de Jong thinks it’s a good sign.
He says the quality of people vying for the leadership suggests the brand of the Liberals as a free enterprise party is strong.