Local Liberal legislators in transition, with hopes

Cabinet position a ‘possibility’ says Maple Ridge-Mission MLA

The big announcements for B.C. take place today at Canada Place, where Premier Christy Clark names her team.

Local MLA Marc Dalton will be there, if not to get named to a cabinet post, then to serve in any way he’s asked.

Dalton, who just won his second term as MLA for Maple Ridge-Mission, will be at the 2 p.m. ceremony at Canada Place, along with other Lower Mainland MLAs.

He was named parliamentary secretary for independent schools, when Clark shuffled her cabinet in September.

Greater things could lay ahead for Dalton.

He hasn’t been told to expect a cabinet position, but “down the road there’s a possibility, if not now.

“No matter which way, there’s lots to do.”

If he remains a backbencher, Dalton wants to keep working with Maple Ridge and Mission on economic development and transportation, and the Experience the Fraser project, which foresees a recreational trail on the Fraser River from Vancouver to Hope.

“There’s a lot of new faces, a lot of experience, a lot of depth in the caucus. That’s good for the running of British Columbia.”

Clark has indicated the B.C. legislature will be recalled this summer, so the government can pass its pre-election budget.

Meanwhile, Doug Bing, rookie MLA for Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows, has spoken with Pitt Meadows Mayor Deb Walters and said that he’d be seeking an unpaid leave of absence from council for the rest of the year.

But he still could return to vote on key items, such as the city budget.

Bing has been on council for three terms, before winning the riding for the Liberals in the May 14 election.

Taking a leave of absence doesn’t mean he’ll be completely excluded from council, leaving the remaining six on council mostly divided along NDP and Liberal party lines.

“It doesn’t mean I’m not a member of council. I’m just on leave from my duties.

“When you’re on leave, apparently you’re allowed to come back.”

Bing said he may come back to council for some issues.

“There are certain areas that have been controversial in the past,” such as the budget.

He said it’s possible he may return in the fall to vote on that.

Bing is still looking for a location for a constituency office. He’s using former NDP MLA Michael Sather’s old furniture, but hasn’t yet found a building. It will be somewhere in west Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows.