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Veteran candidate will lead NDP in Maple Ridge-Mission

Mike Bocking is the B.C. NDP candidate for the Maple Ridge-Mission riding. - The NEWS/files
Mike Bocking is the B.C. NDP candidate for the Maple Ridge-Mission riding.
— image credit: The NEWS/files

Mike Bocking will again represent the NDP.

The veteran campaigner was selected Sunday by the Maple Ridge-Mission NDP riding association to run in next May's provincial election.

Bocking defeated Maple Ridge music lawyer Bob D'Eith 81-45 to win the nomination at a meeting in Silverdale.

"It was a long campaign," Bocking said Monday, noting the two had been competing for 14 months.

The results, however, weren't a surprise since both candidates basically knew who was supporting them.

"The numbers are right in line with what we thought would happen," Bocking said.

Next spring will be his fifth attempt at getting elected.

Bocking ran federally against Conservative MP Randy Kamp in 2004, 2006 and 2008, losing each time.

He ran against current Liberal MLA Marc Dalton in Maple Ridge-Mission in 2009, losing by 68 votes.

Maple Ridge-Mission's western boundary is 224th Street and extends east to Cedar Street in Mission.

"I think people have had enough of the B.C. Liberals and so I think there's a perception that we've got a very good chance to win this riding, because of the very close result last time."

This time around, Bocking said voters will remember the growing provincial deficit, the promise of the government not to bring in the HST and the attempted closing of the emergency ward of Mission Memorial Hospital.

Bocking is currently president of the Media Union of B.C., Local 2000, a position he'll maintain unless he's successful in his run to become MLA.

"We'll have even more volunteers this time."

He'll also have six months to prepare for the vote, while he had only six weeks during the previous election.

Bocking said transportation and transit are at the top of the list of issues, as well as health care and education.

"The environment is becoming more of an issue as well."

Honesty and integrity in government, he added, are other concerns.

Bocking said the NDP may put some efforts into winning Mission-Abbotsford, with the retirement of Liberal Randy Hawes. He pointed out the NDP grabbed a third of the votes last time.

Nomination for that riding takes place in December.

Dalton said Maple Ridge-Mission historically, has been competitive riding. "I don't take it for granted it at all," he said.

He said he'll be running on the government's record on the economy and the environment. "That's where people will have to make a decision."

While polling numbers have improved for the Liberals, there is still lots of work to do, he added.

Dalton pointed out he helped turn around the planned closure of Mission Memorial Hospital, while Highway 7 has been improved throughout the riding and there are two new bridges in the riding.

So far, Dalton hasn't heard of a Conservative candidate entering the race which could split the right-of-centre vote favouring the NDP.

 

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