(Story and photo by Shaun Glazier)
(Chilliwack, B.C.) The campaign office was packed as nearly 80 people turned out to help Chilliwack-Hope Conservative Candidate John Martin, officially open his campaign office near Cottonwood Mall on Saturday. Martin was joined by B.C. Conservative Leader John Cummins, and previous B.C. Liberal-turned Conservative John Van Dongen.
In his welcome speech, Mr. Martin spoke about how B.C. is in for a “dramatic change” in government, and how the current B.C. Liberal government has “lost purpose”… pointing to recent political issues lingering with the sale of BC Rail, to the now scrapped naming rights for BC Place Stadium with Telus. However, while the focus at the meeting was supposed to be on Martin, newly turned Conservative MLA John Van Dongen took a bigger piece of the spotlight. When questioned about why he crossed the floor, Van Dongen pointed to a number of reasons, “the whole process surrounding the naming rights of BC Place”, among others. He was also asked about how his constituents have taken it. He says he thought long and hard about his decision, and that he that he was elected to represent the riding of Abbotsford-South; he’s not a different person today, and he hasn’t taken different policy objectives since he was re-elected.
Speaking about the Conservatives door knocking campaign and what’s he’s heard so far, John Martin says “people have told us that they are ready for change, and that people are seeing the conservatives as an untainted element…we are strongly hopeful that we are going to win this riding”.