Vancouver-Langara MLA Michael Lee is running in the BC Liberal leadership race. Lee make a stop at Farris Law Tuesday, Oct. 10. - Credit: Carli Berry/Capital News

Michael Lee says Liberal party needs more balance

The Vancouver-Langara MLA is running to lead the party and made a stop in Kelowna

Vancouver-Langara MLA Michael Lee says the BC Liberal party needs more balance.

The former business lawyer is running in the party’s leadership race and made a pit stop in Kelowna Tuesday night at Farris Law.

“It’s not about making choices, which is a false choice between the economy and the environment and health care, social programs, or education. I think the BC Liberal party can find the right balance,” he said. “We have become too well-known for our focus on jobs and the economy.”

Related: Dianne Watts meets Liberal party supporters in Kelowna

Lee is one of eight candidates racing to lead the Liberals. His history of community involvement, with youth at risk in Vancouver’s Chinatown and downtown east side, working with immigrant services, and as a board member on the YMCA of Greater Vancouver Foundation, allows him to bring a fresh mindset to the party, he said.

“I have a very strong understanding of our B.C. economy. But also a (strong) understanding of the need for social services and community networks and supports. With those combinations of skills and experiences, I bring a totally different perspective.”

Lee is new to the Legislature, but not new to politics. He worked under former justice minister Kim Campbell, and was a political science student and student body president at UBC nearly 30 years ago. His understanding of politics comes from being a staffer in Vancouver and Ottawa, he said.

If elected, Lee will first focus on regional plans, working with the federal and municipal governments to move forward with tech innovations like at UBCO and Innovate Okanagan, and building a Silicon Valley of the north, he said.

“I know that others have led that charge in the private sector, in the technology industry and I believe the provincial government, our provincial government, can be strong partners in that.”

Liberal party members vote Feb. 3 to decide on who will replace Christy Clark.

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