The president of Music B.C. is sounding off and throwing his hi-hat in the political ring as a candidate for the NDP in the provincial riding of Maple Ridge-Mission.
Bob D’Eith, an entertainment lawyer and long-time advocate for arts and culture, announced his candidacy Friday and said the province needs to change its tune.
“I have seen a provincial government that has brought in policies which hurt our hard working citizens, from shifting tax to consumers with the HST, to taking gaming funds away from charities, to cutting funding to arts and culture, to dismantling legal aid to the most vulnerable in our society, to crippling our court system,” added D’Eith, who has lived in Maple Ridge for nine years.
D’Eith was the executive chair of the Vancouver 2009 JUNO awards host committee and was instrumental in creating the $5.2 million, seven-year artist development program with the Pattison Broadcast Group, called the “Peak Performance Project.”
He has also been active on local and national boards, including the City of Vancouver’s cultural tourism strategy task force.
Locally, D’Eith is concerned about the affect of the harmonized sales tax, as well as the impending teachers’ strike, public transportation issues such as the Evergreen Line and gas taxes, agricultural land reserve issues and the state of local hospitals.
“I also see a lot of need for change, specifically in our area,” said D’Eith.
“I feel like it’s time to step up and get involved.”
Although a date has yet to be picked for an NDP nomination meeting in Maple Ridge-Mission, the riding association is preparing should a provincial election be called in fall. Mike Bocking, who has run several times for the NDP in federal elections, is the other candidate who is will be seeking the nomination.
In Maple Ridge- Pitt Meadows, the NDP is sticking with its incumbent candidate, MLA Michael Sather.
The B.C. Liberals, meanwhile, are supporting incumbent MLA Marc Dalton in Maple Ridge-Mission.
With no date set for an election, riding association president Craig Rudd said the association is in a “wait-and-see” mode.
“We’re just being as prepared as we can be and moving ahead,” he added.
The annual general meeting for the B.C. Liberals Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows riding association is set for Sept 15. No candidate selection meeting has been set.