Mike Bocking is eyeing a seat in the B.C. Legislature for the second time.
The Silverdale resident has now laced up his running shoes and is campaigning for the May 14 provincial election. Bocking is hopeful an earlier start will give him the edge he needs in the Maple Ridge-Mission riding after losing by 68 votes to the Liberals in 2009.
In the last election, the NDP nomination meeting was held a month and a half before the election, but this time, Bocking was given the nod this past November to represent the party.
Bocking has opened his campaign office in Maple Ridge (22618 Lougheed Hwy.) and will be sharing an office in Mission with NDP Abbotsford-Mission candidate Preet Rai.
He is also busy meeting with groups and speaking to individuals about topics of concern.
“It’s time for a change,” said Bocking, pointing to issues like trust and accountability that are important to the public. From the Harmonized Sales Tax to the $2 billion deficit, Bocking says voters have lost trust in the BC Liberals.
“The NDP is saying, change for the better, one practical step at a time,” said Bocking, noting under Adrian Dix’s leadership, the NDP will be careful about the promises they make and will explain how each one is sustainable. “We’ve learned from watching the Liberals.”
Local issues Bocking will be fighting for are health care and the environment.
Bocking has fought against the downsizing of Mission Memorial Hospital and has protested the closure of its emergency room.
It was only after weekly demonstrations the Liberals backed down from locking the emergency room doors, said Bocking.
The NDP wants to make health care sustainable and lower the cost of prescription drugs, he added.
Bocking is also concerned about the gravel mining patchwork that exists in this province.
“I want to take a more measured and coordinated approach to mining activities,” he said, adding the activity is governed by legislation developed in the late 19th century or early 20th century.
“We have to be far more sensitive to the effect on the community and the environment. Big chunks of Mission and the surrounding areas sit on gravel from the last ice age. There needs to be a balance between property owners and those who want to extract gravel.”
Bocking is president of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union local 2000 and has lived in Silverdale with his family since 1998. Mike and his wife Kelly have three daughters and one grandchild.
Simon Gibson, BC Liberals, Abbotsford-Mission