COLUMN: Liberals pay big for a win

Peter Fassbender's election campaign cost nearly $200,000

The initial reports sounded almost unbelievable – Peter Fassbender needed to spend almost $200,000 to win the Surrey-Fleetwood seat for the BC Liberals in the May provincial election.

The $192,974 figure overshadows the $67,800 spent by his chief rival, NDP incumbent Jagrup Brar.

Fassbender won the seat by just 200 votes.

The amounts are contained in financial disclosure forms that must be submitted to Elections BC. They were released last week.

However, Fassbender actually spent considerably less than that amount. A deeper look into the forms shows that he spent about $137,000, with the campaign returning $55,814 to the BC Liberals after the election.

Much of the financing for the campaign came from the provincial party, with $38,060 donated by individuals and businesses.

The Brar campaign, by contrast, received $14,653 in contributions, all but $750 from unions. The NDP and the local constituency association transferred $53,433 into the campaign.

Tim Binnema of the Green Party spent just $1,641 on his campaign. The big spending by the BC Liberals in Surrey was in Fleetwood. In most other Surrey ridings, the cost of individual campaigns by Liberal candidates was about $95,000.

That isn’t surprising. Fassbender was a relatively late addition to the ticket, and while he had a high regional profile, he was the mayor of Langley City, and was not from Surrey.

Nonetheless, his high-profile and active campaign paid off for the BC Liberals, as he won the seat, to the surprise of many (myself included).

His win, and that of many other candidates, was proof of the rock-solid campaign run by the party, which most observers had expected to go down to defeat.

Premier Christy Clark recruited a lot of well-known people to run for the party, such as Fassbender, and it paid off. The constant messaging that the BC Liberals were all about jobs, as opposed to an NDP campaign, which wandered a fair bit, was a key factor as well.

Fassbender felt the premier’s staying on message throughout the campaign was critical to him winning the Fleetwood seat.

Fassbender is now the minister of education, and as such is one of the highest-profile MLAs from Surrey in the legislature.

Thus far, he has been busy with education details, such as negotiating with teachers, but it is almost certain that he will be heavily involved in local issues such as transportation planning. He has a lot of expertise in that area, and that will be a hot topic in the coming months, as the province plans a referendum on TransLink funding options.

He is a hard worker and will certainly not be afraid to speak up for his constituents.

It may have cost the party more to run his campaign, but it paid off for them. Hopefully, his voice will be raised on many Surrey issues in the coming years, and voters in Surrey-Fleetwood will be happy with the choice they made.

Frank Bucholtz writes Thursdays for the Peace Arch News. He is the editor of the Langley Times.

 

Just Posted

Donation allows Peace Arch Hospital to buy new ventilator

TB Vets donate $73,000 to hospital foundation

Paul Bennett honoured at Peace Arch Hospital Foundation awards

Cloverdale man, murdered in June 2018, was one of a number of people to be honoured

Windfall for Deltassist from Delta brewery’s fun run

Four Winds Brewing Company’s third annual Winded 5K raised a record $11,809.53

COLUMN: ‘Trudeaumania’ unlikely to strike for third time in Surrey

Surrey has been solidly red the past two years in Ottawa, with… Continue reading

’Wham-bam out the door,’ South Surrey man warns of landscaping solicitor

Resident warns neighbours to be careful of door-to-door salesmen

B.C.’s rural paramedic program expands, with home support

Advanced care ambulance staff added for six communities

Heiltsuk Nation open first Big House in 120 years in northern B.C.

Opening means the community now has an appropriate space for spiritual and ceremonial events

Singh says NDP would form coalition with the Liberals to stop Tories

Singh was in a Liberal-held riding Sunday afternoon in Surrey where he was pressed about his post-election intentions

‘My heart goes out to the mother’: B.C. dad reacts to stabbing death of Ontario boy

Carson Crimeni, who was also 14, was bullied relentlessly, his dad says

BC Ferries filling up fast with post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Monday anticipated to be busiest day of the weekend

The one with the ‘Friends’ photoshoot: Kelowna group recreates TV show intro

A friend’s departure prompted them to create something that really says, “I’ll be there for you”

Canadian Snowbirds plane crashes before air show in Atlanta

Pilot lands safely after ejecting from jet

Share crash data, private insurers tell David Eby, ICBC

B.C. monopoly makes drivers retrieve their own records

B.C. VIEWS: Wolf kill, not backcountry bans, saving caribou

B.C.’s largest herds turn the corner from extinction

Most Read

l -->