B.C. Liberals have their candidate for Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows

Dr. Doug Bing will challenge the NDP's Elizabeth Rosenau following the withdrawal of Terry Becker from the nomination contest.

Dr. Doug Bing

Dr. Doug Bing

The B.C. Liberals have their candidate to for May’s election, following the withdrawal of Terry Becker from the nomination contest.

So unless there’s a last-minute addition, Pitt Meadows Coun. Doug Bing will challenge the NDP’s Elizabeth Rosenau.

“I feel pretty good about it,” Bing said of the approaching May 14 election.

“I think it will be a bit of a challenge with the poll numbers.”

But the gap that now favours the New Democrats should narrow as voting day approaches, he added.

“And that should put me in a much better position by that time, I think. But I’m getting a pretty good reaction so far from talking to the community. I’m not feeling too bad about it, looking forward to it, actually.”

Bing, who’s in his third term on Pitt Meadows council, said it should be possible to overcome the 200-vote margin of victory by NDP MLA Michael Sather over the Liberal candidate in the 2009 election. He couldn’t think of any major issue or accomplishment he or council addressed during that time.

“I think that the election will come down to a few simple choices that they’ll have to ponder as they go to vote.

“If you look at it, the NDP really is anti-business and they’re proposing things that aren’t good for the economy. They want to raise the corporate tax 20 per cent. They want to eliminate balanced budget legislation. They want to make things easier for unions to get new members.

“There’s all sorts of things that aren’t good for the confidence of the business community and the economy.”

Bing said the party that can best manage the economy will be the main issue of the campaign.

He added that he’d prefer to have a nomination contest because it looks better for the winning candidate heading into an election.

Rosenau plans on being a tough opponent.

“I’m a known quantity in the community. I have a public profile, some name recognition. I’ve got a pulse on the community. I think my chances are pretty good, too,” said Bing.

Asked to comment on the Liberal government’s throne speech, which predicted new liquified natural gas plants and a new sources of revenue from that, Bing replied: “No comment.”

Liberal riding president Brent Perry said it was Becker’s decision to withdraw. He didn’t know when an acclamation meeting takes place.

Becker couldn’t be reached for comment.

Meanwhile, the B.C. Conservatives also have named their candidate in Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows. Manuel Pratas, a Maple Ridge resident who’s worked in construction management for 35 years, will be running for the Conservatives. He’s a member of the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of B.C. and speaks Portuguese, French, Spanish and Italian.