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

Fire in backcountry near Keremeos reaches 400 hectares in size

Two significant fires are burning in the Lower Similkameen, smoke can be seen as far away as Osoyoos

Complete list of B.C. Interior wildfire coverage

Up-to-date information on blazes happening the Kamloops Wildfire Centre

UPDATED: Highway 97 closed again due to wildfire

Motorists may use an alternate route via Highway 97C, Highway 5A and Highway 3

UPDATE: Placer Mountain fire grows to 50 hectares

One fire was extinguished and another reported after lightning came through area

More thunderstorms on the way as fires still burn

Environment Canada is forecasting lightning for the Okanagan and Shuswap

Breaking: More evacuation orders for Mount Eneas wildfire, south of Peachland

The BC Wildfire Service is battling a large wildfire alongside Highway 97 in Peachland.

UPDATED: Okanagan Mountain Park fire forces evacuation alert

Properties from 6006 to 8888 Lakeshore Road are being placed on an evacuation alert

Update: Summerland wildfire forces PIB state of emergency

More than 40 firefighters are on scene of the wildfire near Mount Conkle, just outside of Summerland.

Cluster of fires fans smoke over West Kelowna

A cluster of three fires are burning above West Kelowna

Hockey trip fraudster receives house arrest

Man duped 16 families with Okanagan Elite Hockey Association out of over $100,000

‘Amazing Race Canada’ competitors face B.C. challenge

They drove Corvettes, mastered falconry basics, and ate blueberry pie in the Cowichan Valley

Grizzly bear jumps in river, chases B.C. kayaker

The bear got a bit too close for comfort along the Elaho River near Squamish

Parks Canada looks to shine light on cloudy future for historic sites

A plan is in place to produce 10-year plans designed to turn around sagging attendance figures

B.C. poet shines a bright light on struggle with homelessness

Book launch for John La Greca’s Homeless Memorial is at Vernon’s Gallery Vertigo July 21.

Most Read