In the days leading up to the Oct. 21 federal election, we are profiling each of Surrey’s five ridings. Watch our Federal Election section in the next week or so for the remaining two. Read the first here, and the second here.
With Canada’s last federal election, in October 2015, came some big changes for Surrey’s ridings.
The South Surrey-White Rock riding was created in 2013 and was first contested in 2017 in a by-election after Conservative MP Dianne Watts resigned to run for leader of the B.C. Liberal Party. Federally, the peninsula has been a bastion of conservatism, in one form or another, until Liberal Gordon Hogg was elected Liberal MP in the by-election. Five candidates are running for election here. Hogg is seeking re-election, challenged by Kerry-Lynne Findlay (Conservative), Stephen Crozier (NDP), Beverly Pixie Hobby (Green), and Joel Poulin (People’s Party of Canada).
The Now-Leader asked all candidates to answer the following question: Why do you need to be elected or re-elected?
Listed in alphabetical order, here’s what the candidates said verbatim:
Stephen Crozier (NDP):
I am a first-time candidate in this election because, as a teacher of 30 years, I have seen the tragic decline in the future we are offering our children and grandchildren. It is not just their employment/income that the Trudeau Liberals contentedly accept as inevitable; it is their very lives, and this is unacceptable.
We cannot “Choose Forward” as the Liberal slogan goes. That’s the same choice made by the captain of the Titanic and would be made with similar arrogance. The Trudeau Liberal’s have chosen this slogan because they think the Scheer Conservatives are their opponents, but they are wrong. Both parties are tied to corporate lobbyists. The SNC Lavalin scandal is but the tip of this iceberg. The NDP is the only party that will change the direction in which our environment and our economy is headed. We all know that this is absolutely necessary.
Fundamentally, this change in direction means using profits for people and the planet. For far too long, people and the planet have been exploited for profits with disastrous consequences. This means putting more money in the pockets of Canadians, not through the narrow vision of Conservative tax cuts, which simply allow corporations and the wealthy to pick our pockets, nor through the half measures of the Liberals, like delaying the financial burden foisted on our youth through the present unfair student loan system, which does nothing at all. We need a fair tax system which can easily provide universal pharmacare, public housing, free post-secondary education and a just transition to a green economy. We are in it for you, not corporations and the super rich.
Beverly Pixie Hobby (Green):
As we face the existential crisis of our time – climate change – we must bypass political partisanship, and collaborate to ensure that our planet is livable for future generations.
Throughout my 33 years as a federal government lawyer, my work demanded co-operation and collaboration with provincial, territorial, First Nations and municipal governments in resolving environmental, social and cultural issues. Co-operation between orders of government is not always easy, but it’s necessary. My experience confirms that a diversity of opinions is essential to creating robust and resilient policies and programs that effectively address the multiplicity of problems that the climate emergency is throwing at us.
It’s time to collaborate and establish a Council of Canadian Governments to set higher order policy priorities; our goal is policy coherence to optimize public spending. This Council will include federal and provincial/territorial governments as well as local governments: large city mayors, representatives of smaller and rural municipalities, and Indigenous (First Nations, Metis and Inuit) communities.
The world’s climate scientists say we must reach a 50% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 to avoid runaway climate change that can’t be managed. To reach that goal, we need a practicable, adaptable climate emergency plan to shift us quickly from a carbon-based to a sustainable economy that incorporates economic justice, just transition, meaningful work, and respects the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The Green Party’s climate plan is designed to reduce carbon emissions by 60 per cent by 2030. It will meet the United Nations’ 17 sustainability goals. It’s time to collaborate. We’ll get there faster if we all pull together!
Gordon Hogg (Liberal):
Gordie Hogg. Right candidate. Right Party.
What energizes me? Now, and for as long as I can remember – I try to do something every day to improve the health, well-being and prosperity of our community. As a public servant and public office-holder at all three levels of government, I fought for those at risk of being left behind at the same time as I celebrated those well on their way to achieving their ambitions.
This has been my way of helping build a community that is inclusive, healthy, safe, sustainable, prosperous, and open to all Canadians and those who aspire to become Canadians.
Our community is facing many significant challenges – affordability, housing, guns and gangs, and the impact of climate change. All these challenges are complex. All solutions involve open and honest municipal, provincial and federal participation and cooperation. Our sense of community – in both our diversity and our shared values – is reflected in values I share with the Liberal Party of Canada.
I am proud of: Canada’s lowest unemployment rate in more than 40 years, and in South Surrey-White Rock, our Canada Child Benefit support of 13,840 children, and the special support to more than 2,000 low income single retirees who benefited from an enhanced Guaranteed Income Supplement Benefit.
I see many opportunities and wish to continue moving forward on initiatives that will benefit South Surrey-White Rock.
I am fully committed to bringing my experience and achievements at all three levels of government to the municipal-provincial-problem-solving table. I worked across party lines in Ottawa – and I commit to doing so if re-elected.
Joel Poulin (People’s Party of Canada):
Four years ago I made my way to the polling station at Peace Portal Alliance Church in South Surrey to cast my vote. That day I remember feeling little conviction for who I would vote for and that bothered me greatly. The political tide was turning against a long standing Conservative government who may have gotten a little too comfortable in their position. They ran an absolutely disastrous campaign compared to a new and energetic Liberal party who executed perfectly on theirs. My core values didn’t align with the Liberal leaders promises and so I cast my vote with the Conservatives, the “lesser of two evils” in my mind.
Four years later and 75 billion dollars of deficit spending, thanks to the Liberal government, we approach another election. This time there is an alternative to the traditional parties promising to do politics differently. The People’s Party of Canada has based all of its policy on principles, not polling data or special interest groups. Our foundational pillars are Freedom, Personal Responsibility, Fairness, and Respect.
I felt such an overwhelming sense of conviction to participate in the PPC’s campaign that I stepped up and put a bid in for candidacy for Member of Parliament for South Surrey White Rock. It is a party I felt I could get behind, and it is a party that I know will have the integrity to represent the people of my riding in a fair and just way. Don’t vote against a party, vote your convictions and vote for a party you believe in. If elected, I will work hard to represent you fairly at the federal level.
The Now-Leader did not receive a response to our question from Conservative candidate Kerry-Lynne Findlay.
Findlay represented the riding of Delta-Richmond East as Conservative MP from 2011 to 2015, during which time she served as parliamentary secretary to the minister of justice, associate minister of national defence and minister of national revenue. Her biography on the Conservatives’ campaign website describes her as “an accomplished parliamentarian, lawyer, and community leader.”