Federal Liberals appoint former MLA Richard Lee as their candidate in Burnaby South byelection

Richard Lee
Photo: Twitter

THE federal Liberal Party of Canada on Saturday announced that former BC Liberal MLA Richard T. Lee will be their candidate for Burnaby South in the upcoming federal by-election.

He replaces Karen Wang who resigned because of racist comments she posted on social media about federal NDP candidate Jagmeet Singh.

The Star Vancouver had reported last week that she had urged supporters on the Chinese social media app, WeChat, to vote for her, “the only Chinese candidate” in the riding, rather than Jagmeet Singh, who she identified as “of Indian descent.”

“Richard Lee has a proven commitment to public service, and he has dedicated his career to making life better for Burnaby families,” said Suzanne Cowan, President of the Liberal Party of Canada. “We are honoured to welcome Richard to Team Trudeau as our Liberal candidate in this important by-election, and after 16 years of service in the BC Legislature, I know he will be a strong and trusted voice for Burnaby South in Parliament.”

Lee also served as a parliamentary secretary and became the first Chinese-Canadian to serve as Deputy Speaker of the Legislature. He and his wife Anne have lived in Burnaby for 32 years and have raised their three children in the community, the Liberal Party said.

“I’m proud to call Burnaby my home, and this by-election is about ensuring Burnaby South has a strong voice in Parliament to help make life better for families in this community,” said Lee. “I’m looking forward to working with Justin Trudeau to keep making progress on Burnaby’s priorities, like investing in new affordable housing and better transit, creating good middle class jobs, and protecting a healthy environment for our kids and grandkids.”

Meanwhile, Star Vancouver reported that Valentine Wu, a former B.C. Green Party candidate, has said that he will run as an independent. His party had decided last year not to run any candidate in the riding as a “leader’s courtesy” to Jagmeet Singh.