With Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expected to call a snap federal election for Sept. 20, the South Surrey-White Rock riding is one to keep an eye on.
Traditionally viewed as a Conservative stronghold, longtime former MLA Gordie Hogg flipped the constituency to Liberal in the 2017 federal by-election by about five per cent ahead of Conservative MP Kerry-Lynne Findlay.
Findlay and Hogg battled again for the constituency in 2019, when Findlay took the office with a 4 per cent lead in votes over Hogg.
Standing one-to-one, the Findlay-Hogg rubber-match is set for Sept. 20, if speculation on the election date proves correct.
And while Findlay said she’s ready, she called the timing “unfortunate.”
“I don’t think that this is top of mind for Canadians. People are still trying to climb out of pandemic restrictions, there’s still uncertainty,” Findlay told Peace Arch News Thursday, adding an election call would be “self-serving” for the Liberals.
“I think we’ve asked Canadians to sacrifice a lot over the last 18 months.”
Hogg, however, took the opposite view, saying now is a suitable time to listen to Canadians and re-evaluate issues of the day.
“I see it as a chance to come together more effectively and positively than we’ve had in the past. A chance to reach out. The basis by which the last election was run, a year and a half ago, there was no COVID. Everything has changed. Everything has changed around the world,” Hogg said.
Findlay said she’s embracing the election as an opportunity to tell residents the Conservative version of economic recovery, and to “put ethics in government much higher up on the scale than the Trudeau Liberals have.”
Hogg, meanwhile, said the election is an opportunity to address new issues with respect to climate change.
“I was surprised to hear 54 per cent of the Conservative membership didn’t believe that there was climate change taking place,” Hogg said, adding that federal climate change policies have been delayed due to opposition.
“They’ve been dragged out and there has been criticism for the length of time that it took. We need to get that stability and move forward.”
Peace Arch News has not been made aware of any other parties putting forward a candidate for South Surrey-White Rock as of yet.
For the last couple months there’s been speculation that an election is looming. Candidates with both parties have been informally campaigning prior to an announcement.
Reuters, citing “four sources familiar with the matter” said Trudeau is planning to call a snap election to seek approval for the government’s COVID-19 response.