Surrey Centre MP Randeep S. Sarai, South Surrey-White Rock MP Gordie Hogg, Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge MP Dan Ruimy and Fleetwood-Port Kells MP Ken Hardie help serve breakfast at Our Place shelter in Victoria, July 8, 2018. (Twitter)

Hot summer ahead for B.C.’s federal Liberal MPs

Gordie Hogg chairs B.C. caucus, housing and pipeline on public’s mind

Liberal MPs from around B.C. are meeting on Vancouver Island this week, hearing about the need for low-cost housing and child care as they prepare for a federal election next year.

The party’s B.C. caucus now has 18 MPs, through the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley and as far north as Kelowna, much of it fallow ground for federal Liberals until Justin Trudeau took the leadership into the 2015 election. The latest addition is former MLA Gordie Hogg, who won the Conservative stronghold of South Surrey-White Rock in a December by-election after it was vacated by former Surrey mayor Dianne Watts.

Hogg spoke with Black Press after meeting Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps and Vancouver Island community groups, mainly about the pressures of homeless people and a shortage of child care options for parents.

Funding applications are coming in for the Trudeau government’s national housing strategy, a $40 billion program that aims to reduce homelessness by half over 20 years. Hogg said the B.C. caucus is doing “triage” on the many requests, to represent the B.C. needs with the national caucus as housing and other funds are allocated.

Liberal MPs are also bracing for the start of work across the B.C. portion of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, which is being taken over by the federal government amid protests and legal action by the B.C. government in an effort to impose more restrictions on crude oil transport.

“There’s certainly a lot of controversy over it,” Hogg said. “In some of our urban ridings it’s more prevalent, although polling is telling us now that even in some of the urban ridings it is at least 50-50 and seems to be growing in favour of it. So we’ve seen a shift in terms of the public perception.”

The federal government supports the project because Alberta oilsands crude is currently selling at a discount of about $20 a barrel.

Trans Mountain has filed its latest six-month work plan with the National Energy Board, with work camps and pipe yards across the province to be set up this summer.

“The intent is to get it up and going as quickly as we can,” said Hogg.

RELATED: Trans Mountain gears up for B.C. pipeline

Meanwhile, one-time Conservative leadership candidate Rick Peterson is heading a pro-resources group called Suits and Boots, planning a series of meetings and rallies. He said the recent media stunt by Greenpeace, with activists dangling off the Ironworkers’ Memorial bridge in Vancouver, appears to have backfired.

“Peterson said the group has been “overwhelmed with messages and donations” since the bridge protest ended in arrests of the participants last week.

“We can no longer stand by and let this stream of anti-resource propaganda spread like an infectious disease, so we’re gearing up for pro-resource blitz across B.C. this summer,” Peterson said.

The group plans to meet with mayors, councillors, MLAs and MPs in the Northwest, Cariboo, Okanagan, Vancouver Island and Kootenay regions.

Just Posted

Prince Rupert students learn to chase away anxiety

Author Amanda Stern presented at Prince Rupert Middle School on Feb. 22

Northern residents rejoice at increased BC Ferries sailings

B.C. government announced that service will be restored to 2014 levels

Rio Tinto donates $50K for Shames Mountain chairlift upgrades

The money was used to purchase the chairlift’s bull wheel replacement last summer

More sailings coming to 10 BC Ferries’ routes

Transportation Minister Claire Trevena said the sailings were originally cut in 2014

Cullen remains uncertain about political future

Says he’ll make decision in early March

Ice skating on the North Coast, a rare treat

Seawolves hockey players bring their gear to Oliver Lake this week to play on the outdoor rink

Have you heard the legend of Shuswaggi, the Shuswap Lake monster?

Witness accounts as old as 1904, and as recent as 2018, place a creature in the lake’s depths

UPDATE: B.C. ticket holder winner of $25.9-million Lotto Max jackpot

Next draw set for Mar. 1 with an estimated jackpot of $10 million

B.C.-based ‘Team Tardi’ bring home gold in junior curling worlds

In a 9-4 victory over Switzerland, a Langley-based curling team earned its 2nd straight world title

People gather for funeral of seven children killed in fast-moving Halifax fire

Traditional portion of the service will be followed by words from community members

B.C. weavers to help Alaska Native project honouring survivors of violence

Dozens of Chilkat and Ravenstail weavers from all over North America will be weaving 5-inch-by-5-inch squares

B.C. skip Sarah Wark and team eliminated at Scotties Tournament of Hearts

Nontheless pretty impressive stuff from the 24th-ranked team in the country

Pope’s sex abuse prevention summit explained

It’s A high-stakes meeting designed to impress on Catholic bishops the global problem

Girl heard saying ‘Help my Dad’ in suspicious radio message on Vancouver Island

Police asking for help following mysterious signals from somewhere between Comox and Sayward

Most Read