Two Liberal MLAs in South Surrey are moving ridings in time for the spring election, and a third is still undecided on his future in provincial politics.
Surrey-Panorama MLA Marvin Hunt told Black Press Thursday he will be running in the newly drawn boundaries of Surrey-Cloverdale, a riding in which he currently lives, and added that Stephanie Cadieux – currently the MLA for Surrey-Cloverdale – will run this spring in the newly created riding of Surrey South.
Cadieux, Minister of Children and Family Development, was first elected in 2009 for Surrey-Panorama but changed to Cloverdale in 2013.
Hunt said he is running in Cloverdale, quite simply, because “the premier asked me to.”
Hunt, long known as a fiscal conservative, said he is a great fit for the riding of Surrey-Cloverdale.
“I am conservative, that’s who I am,” said Hunt, a longtime Surrey city councillor before entering the provincial political arena in 2013.
He said he knows of no other MLAs who are moving ridings.
So far, it leaves Surrey-Panorama vacant, which makes it a riding to watch heading into the next election.
A third Surrey MLA, Gordon Hogg (Surrey-White Rock), told Peace Arch News Thursday morning that he was still undecided about whether he would seek a sixth term in office.
“It’s a difficult decision,” said the longtime politician and former White Rock mayor.
“I’m thoroughly enjoying working with the community, and I think I’ve been in elected office – if you combine my time provincially with my time at the city – for 40 years now, I think.
“I love this community… and I want to continue to participate in it, so it’s difficult determining what I want to do for the rest of my life.”
Though he’s had to make the decision to run on five previous occasions, he called this year’s decision “by the far the toughest.”
Hogg, who completed his PhD on public policy at Simon Fraser University earlier this year, said he has been offered a position at an adjunct professor at the Burnaby Mountain school, should he choose to leave politics.
Hogg said Premier Christy Clark and the BC Liberals “have been accommodating and understanding” as he makes his decision.
First elected in the riding in 1997, Hogg said there are both personal and professional reasons on both sides of the ledger when it comes to returning for a sixth term or moving on to new challenges.
“I feel good about what we’ve been able to accomplish for our community and the province… so is it time to move on and find other things? What more do I think I can do, and how can I stay engaged in a community that I’ve lived in my whole life?” he said.
“That’s what I’ve been talking with my family about and working through.”
On a personal level, Hogg said the frequent trips back-and-forth to Victoria have cost him time with both family and friends, which has started to leave him feeling “a little more disconnected” to parts of his own community.
“My family still gets together for family dinners every Sunday, and I usually have to miss those to catch a ferry,” he said.
No matter his decision, Hogg said he is proud of what he’s been able to accomplish in the community thus far, and vowed to stay involved on the Semiahmoo Peninsula regardless of his job title.
“I plan to do that, whatever I do… stay involved, volunteer.”
Effective the next election, his Surrey-White Rock riding will once again include Crescent Beach – a decision Hogg approved of.
Crescent Beach was originally part of Surrey-White Rock, but in recent years had been part of Surrey-Cloverdale and, most recently, Surrey-Panorama.
“It’s bounced around a bit,” Hogg said. “But I always felt there was a bit of a disconnect (when it was part of ridings further north).”
The addition of the new Surrey South riding brings to nine the total number of ridings in the city.
Justice Minister Suzanne Anton tabled legislation last year calling for two new ridings in the province to reflect booming population, with the second being added in Princeton.
– with files from Kevin Diakiw