Langley resident John Aldag says he’s set his sights on capturing the new federal riding of Cloverdale-Langley City in race that’s a year away.
He was recently confirmed as the Liberal Party of Canada’s candidate, after formally declaring his intent earlier this year.
The new riding takes in communities that have historically belonged to separate electoral districts, but have traditionally sent Conservative MPs to Ottawa, including South Surrey-White Rock-Cloverdale MP Russ Hiebert, who is not seeking a fifth term in 2015, leaving the new South Surrey and Cloverdale-Langley City electoral districts without incumbents.
The federal election isn’t scheduled until Oct. 19, 2015, but already low voter turnouts has Aldag concerned.
“Voter turnout has been steadily decreasing,” he said in a statement. “People feel like their vote doesn’t matter.”
Last week, Aldag wrote a letter to the editor urging voters in Surrey and Langley City to exercise their right to vote by heading to the polls at Saturday’s civic elections.
He suspects the negative tone of political campaigns, particularly under the Conservative Harper era, is to blame.
Aldag is entering politics after 31 years with Parks Canada, earning a CEO Award of Excellence three times and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for public service.
Aldag said he was attracted by party leader Justin Trudeau, and disenchanted with the direction taken by prime minister Stephen Harper and the Conservatives for the past decade.
He’s active in a number of organizations and has lived in Langley since 2005.
Aldag and wife Dr. Elaine St. John have three children between the ages of 9 and 13. They attend French Immersion programs in Langley.