Gordie Hogg, Liberal candidate for South Surrey-White Rock, has had a lifelong commitment to a vision of Canada – and his home community – as an inclusive society with equal opportunities for everyone to thrive and prosper.
But a driving force behind his political activism, he recalled, has always been something his mother Kay said to him when he was just out of high school and a Little League coach trying to get his players to an Edmonton championship.
He had attended a White Rock council meeting to ask for funding and had been discouraged by what he saw then as a tedious and silly process.
“I told my mom and she looked at me and said, ‘I thought I always raised you to be the kind of person who would, if you didn’t like what was going on, you’d get involved and do something to change it.’”
His service has included being a council member, and later mayor, of the City of White Rock; two decades as MLA for the area, and a subsequent stint as South Surrey-White Rock MP following a win in the 2017 byelection.
He can point with pride to tangible benefits to both his home community and the broader population, including overseeing the building of the White Rock promenade, and – as provincial Minister of Children and Families – creating Community Living BC.
Although his time in Ottawa was short before the national election in 2019, Hogg also helped secure federal funding to bring clean water to the Semiahmoo First Nation, and continued his ongoing activism against the shipping of thermal coal through the community.
Although born in Victoria – Hogg points out there wasn’t a local hospital at the time (his mother was in the forefront of women who campaigned for the creation of Peace Arch Hospital) – he is proud to say he has been a resident of White Rock since he was two months old.
His parents’ example has also been seen in the way Hogg and his wife LaVerne have raised their own children, and in his commitment to young people in his work as a youth probation officer at the Salvation Army House of Concord, and later as warden of the Burnaby Youth Custody Centre. It has also inspired him to foster four young people and to go on and found Night Hoops Basketball, a no-cost community program that helps get youth of the street.
Hogg has also earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and latterly a Ph.D, for which his thesis very much hewed to his passion: ‘Creating Public Policy in a Complex Society.’