Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Liberals start rebuilding process

Liberal candidate Mandeep Bhuller and his campaign team watch the results come in on Monday.

Liberal candidate Mandeep Bhuller and his campaign team watch the results come in on Monday.

Despite earning even fewer votes in the May 2 vote than the 2008 election, local Liberals say they’re reloading and will be stronger next time.

The federal riding association has already started rebuilding, after earning only five per cent of the vote in Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge-Mission. People are mad after taking such a drubbing, winning only 34 seats in the House of Commons, and riding president Brian Rice wants to take advantage of that.

“It’s a huge change. The number of people coming out of the woodwork and expressing frustration and anger not only with the national results, but with the local results, has been overwhelming.”

Conservative Randy Kamp won a fourth election, increasing the number of votes he earned, while the NDP also made gains, over the 2008 results.

In 2008, the Liberals had sunk to fourth place, behind even the Green party, earning only 3,394 votes.

In the May 2, 2011 election results were even worse, with the Liberal party earning only 2,739 votes.

But in the election aftermath, the association now has about 60 members, more than it did before the election.

It also now has a full executive and directors in place,16 people in all.

Nationally, the party raised more money this election than the past three campaigns combined, while locally, the campaign spent about $11,000, Rice said.

What hurt, though, was the lack of boots on the ground in the local campaign.

“We only had two groups of two people door-knocking. We had one person making phone calls.”

Along with Rice, another full-time volunteer and candidate Mandeep Bhuller, that meant only eight people.

“I’m proud of the campaign we ran, the people we had and the money we had,” Rice said.

Signs were out, they had an office, brochures and used robo calls to get to voters.

“I think, partly, we got caught up in the Orange Crush [of the NDP] as a result.”

The riding was also targeted by Catch 22, which urged voters to support NDP candidate Craig Speirs, so as not to split the vote.

However, the riding is strongly Conservative and Rice doubts whether better campaigning would have made a difference.

“People wanted to re-elect Randy. This is a Conservative riding right now.”

But the Liberals could have had more volunteers and money if Bhuller was named earlier, Rice admitted.

Nevertheless, the party should have a presence and make the Conservative candidate work hard to get elected.

“That doesn’t mean we stop fighting. That means we fight harder and do our best.”

Latest trends in media are also affecting voter behaviour, Rice said. “Fewer people are reading the paper. I think it’s information without education.”

He also said public opinion polls are starting to influence voting behaviour.

He’s trying to use the anger and shame and losing so badly to expand the party.

Rice said Kamp, now starting his fourth term as MP, hasn’t done “spectacularly much for this riding.”

“I don’t have any expectations of Randy Kamp, to be honest. He’s a backbencher in a government that’s notoriously not concerned with what backbenchers think.

“I think parliamentary secretary is about the best we can hope for and Stephen Harper has an awful lot to choose from in those roles.”

The most recent Liberal meeting was held Thursday in the Maple Ridge library, with the public invited to participate in fundraising and membership drives. The Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge-Mission Liberal riding association has more than 50 members and wants to increase that to 100.

Communications chair Kathleen Rake said she didn’t want to wait for a new leader for the party, following the post-election resignation of leader Michael Ignatieff.

“I want to work with these new people and fresh ideas to bring new life to our local party.”

Just Posted

Migrating sockeye in the Fraser River August 7, 2007. (Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
First Nations, commercial, and recreational harvesters join forces to save Fraser River fish

‘We have to work together to rebuild these stocks while there is still time,’ says delegate

web
Father’s Day Parade planned for Mission

Classic vehicles from the 1920s to the 1970s will drive through Mission, Hatzic on June 20

Vancouver courthouse. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Man loses bid to appeal conviction for 1999 rape at Abbotsford music festival

James Redden, 53, formerly of Nanaimo, was found guilty in 2019 following six-day trial

.
Fraser Health monitors long-term care vaccination rates amid local COVID-19 outbreak

COVID-19 transmission has largely been on the decline in Agassiz-Harrison

FVRD surveyed public opinion on cannabis production and processing in the electoral areas. Odour and distance from residential areas were the top concerns. (Black Press file)
Cannabis production and processing rules being drafted by Fraser Valley Regional District

Data from public opinion survey will be used to guide cannabis-related land use

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

A worker, at left, tends to a customer at a cosmetics shop amid the COVID-19 pandemic Thursday, May 20, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Half of cosmetics sold in Canada, U.S. contain toxic chemicals: study

Researchers tested more than 230 commonly used cosmetics and found that 56% of foundations and eye products, 48% of lip products and 47% of mascaras contained high levels of fluorine

White Rock’s Marine Drive has been converted to one-way traffic to allow more patio space for waterfront restaurants. (Peace Arch News)
Province promotes permanent pub patios in B.C. post-pandemic plan

More than 2,000 temporary expansions from COVID-19 rules

Lake City Secondary School Williams Lake campus students Ethan Reid, from left, Brenden Higgins, Ty Oviatt, Kaleb Alphonse, Nathan Kendrick and Landon Brink with RCMP officers Const. Nicoll and Const. Stancec. (Photo submitted)
RCMP thank 6 teens for helping prevent forest fire in Williams Lake

The students came across fire in a wooded area and used the water they had to try and extinguish the flames

Most Read