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Mike de Jong, Michael Lee join the BC Liberal leadership race

Last Updated Sep 26, 2017 at 1:01 pm PDT

MLAs Mike de Jong (L) and Michael Lee (R) joined the BC Liberal leadership race on September 26, 2017 (Sources: mikedejong.com, facebook.com/TeamMichaelLeeBC)

Mike de Jong announces BC Liberal leadership candidacy early this morning; Michael Lee follows suit hours later

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Two more BC Liberals have announced their candidacy for party leadership

Mike de Jong and Michael Lee are the latest to join the race. de Jong announced his intentions early this morning, while Lee made his announcement later in the day.

This is de Jong’s second attempt at party leadership. He failed to beat Christy Clark in 2011.

“Five years in a senior post, helping build the strongest economy in Canada, creating more jobs than anywhere else in the country… I say that not to suggest that I was perfect or we were perfect. But that’s a pretty good basis upon which to go to people and ask for their support,” de Jong tells NEWS 1130.

de Jong and Lee join Mike Bernier, Andrew Wilkinson, Dianne Watts and Sam Sullivan in the leadership race.

Of his competitors, de Jong says, “I think all of the candidates bring certain qualities. I think some of them have deep roots within the BC Liberal Party. Others have no roots and I think that’ll be a challenge for them because I’ve always said… I don’t like fairweather friends and I don’t want a fairweather leader.”

Vancouver-Langara MLA Michael Lee chose to stream his announcement live on Facebook:

“This is my home,” Lee told a crowd this morning. “And more importantly, this is my children’s home. And I worry that they won’t have the same opportunities that my parents and I did. More and more young people are feeling that they’re working harder and harder but they’re still not getting anywhere. We need to do something about that.”

Lee says the party needs to look into new ways to govern.

“The economy, the environment, social programs, infrastructure… we need them all. We can’t always have the situation where we’re having to pick and choose. We have to change that; they’re all inter-connected. Only a thriving and sustainable economy gives us the means to invest in the services and infrastructure we depend on.”

The BC Liberal party will choose their new leader in February.