Bob D’Eith believes the federal NDP will have a shot at wresting the Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge riding away from the Conservatives in the fall general election.
D’Eith, an entertainment lawyer who is also the executive director of Music B.C., announced this week that he will seek the nomination for the NDP candidacy.
MP Randy Kamp, who has held the riding for the Conservatives since 2004, is stepping down. The loss of the incumbent, combined with the Conservative track record here, should leave them vulnerable, said D’Eith.
“I don’t think the Conservatives have done anything to win over this riding,” he said.
The NDP will chose its candidate this spring, and so far, just he and environmentalist Jack Emberly have announced their candidacy.
D’Eith also ran for the NDP nomination for the provincial riding of Maple Ridge-Mission in the last provincial election. He got involved so he could have more say in funding for arts and culture.
“I was always advocating, but I thought ‘Maybe the only way to change things is to change the government,’” he said.
Once D’Eith got involved politically, he found more financial shortfalls hitting the middle class, or those who can least afford to do without.
Now, he believes the economic model in Canada has to move away from one that caters to corporations at the expense of the middle class. There is no “trickle down.”
“If you put money in at the top, it stays there,” he said. “But government will still make decisions based on large corporate interests, instead of us.”
The NDP is hammering the Conservatives for giving $2 billion per year in tax relief to the wealthiest 15 per cent of the population, while “Canada’s middle class is being squeezed out of a slumping economy.”
D’Eith has lived in Maple Ridge for 12 years with his wife Kim and their five children. He has been a volunteer board member with the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Arts Council, and a minor hockey coach.
Kamp has held the riding since 2004, but isn’t seek re-election. In the 2011 election, Kamp took 28,803 ballots versus NDP Craig Speirs’ 18,835. The Liberals earned only 2,739 votes.
The present Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge-Mission riding will be replaced by the new Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge riding.