A former Surrey MLA is hoping to represent Cloverdale and the City of Langley in Ottawa in two years’ time.
Dave Hayer, who represented Surrey-Tynehead for 12 years, from 2001-13, announced on Monday evening that he will seek the Conservative nomination for the proposed new riding of Cloverdale-West Langley, ahead of the next federal election in October, 2015.
Hayer told a packed room at the Cloverdale Recreation Centre that he has been approached many times over the years to seek a seat as a member of Parliament.
“I have considered those suggestions carefully and, after having discussed this with family, friends and community members, have decided that I will pursue nomination as a candidate in the new proposed Cloverdale – West Langley riding,” he said.
The crowd included former Surrey MPs Dona Cadman and Benno Friesen.
Hayer’s run has also been endorsed by outgoing City of Langley Mayor, Peter Fassbender, the new Liberal MLA for Surrey-Fleetwood.
Hayer announced in July, 2012 that he wouldn’t run in the provincial election held last month.
“Part of that decision was that if (I was) re-elected as MLA in May 2013, and then left to run as an MP in 2015, I would have triggered an expensive byelection which would be costly for my constituents.
“I believe this would have been the wrong thing to do for my community,” he said.
Hayer decided to make the announcement more than two years ahead of the next election, he said, because he wants to use the time to build relationships and help increase Conservative Party membership in the new riding.
“It’s a chance to get to know the community,” he said.
“It’s a large riding. I wanted to make sure I have enough time.”
Langley City is a very important party of that community, Hayer added, saying residents can expect to see him at many events in the coming months.
“Langley is an area I look forward to getting to know better.”
Although he served Surrey-Tynehead as MLA, Hayer does have connections to Langley, he said, including having sat on the Kwantlen Polytechnic University Board of Governors and serving as District Director of the B.C. Chamber of Commerce Langley-Vancouver Region.
Hayer’s jump from provincial to federal politics comes not only at the urging of friends and constituents, but from his own desire to work for a justice system that better serves victims and their families, he explained.
“One of the closest issues to my heart is a fair justice system,” he said.
Hayer’s father, Tara Singh Hayer, a journalist, was murdered in his Surrey home in 1998, 10 years after a failed attempt on his life that left him in a wheelchair.
After his father’s death, Hayer focused on justice reform, entering provincial politics in 2001.
“There wasn’t much we could do provincially, although we did what we could,” he said.
A married father of four, Hayer has two daughters and two sons, ranging in age from 23 to 29 years old.
If elected, Hayer said, he will continue his practice of hosting coffee meetings once a month, where constituents are welcome to drop by without an appointment to discuss any concerns they might have.
“There is much that I can bring to the federal government in terms of issues that are on the minds of British Columbians,” said Hayer.
“During my three terms as MLA for Surrey-Tynehead, I listened and worked on constituent issues that encompassed all three levels of government and also had experience in dealing with many issues including the justice system, a strong economy, jobs, increasing international trade and seniors issues.”
Anyone who would like to speak with Hayer may contact him at 604-833-4000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.