Peace Arch News reached out to the four candidates running for the South Surrey-White Rock riding in the Sept. 20 federal election and asked them each to respond to four questions.
Below are the responses from Gordie Hogg (Liberals) in his own words:
1) Following another summer of record-breaking heat in B.C., what actions would your party take, if elected, to immediately address the causes and impacts of climate change?
A: I know that climate change is real, as do the residents of Lytton, those who lost loved ones in the heat dome, and most other Canadians.
If elected, I commit to building on the results of the Liberals’ 2015 $60 billion climate plan and to ensuring that our community directly benefits from goals in the new $17.6 billion strategy for a green recovery – reaching net-zero by 2050, preserving 25 per cent of our lands and oceans by 2025, boosting domestic green technology and energy, creating sustainable jobs and planting two billion trees.
South Surrey/White Rock is witnessing the impacts of climate change. I commit to ensuring that residents benefit from programs like the $2 billion Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund to help manage droughts and floods, restore shorelines and make our homes more energy efficient.
For 15 years I’ve worked with local activists to rid our community of thermal coal, and I’m pleased to announce that all exports of thermal coal will end no later than 2030. This is an important milestone, the first of many.
2) Canada remains in the grips of a global pandemic. What steps need to be taken to get Canadians safely through this crisis, to facilitate economic recovery and to ensure our nation is better prepared for future public-health emergencies?
A: When COVID hit, the Liberal government took immediate, decisive action to stabilize the economy and support Canadians with the largest economic aid package in generations. As of Sept. 1, 76.7 per cent of Canadians 12-plus are fully vaccinated, a key signpost of progress towards normal life.
I will advocate for our community as we navigate the next steps in Canada’s economic recovery.
In April, the Liberals launched a $101.4 billion growth strategy with important measures including a $30 billion childcare program, a $17.6 billion investment in a green recovery, support for small businesses, tourism and entrepreneurs, targeted tax measures and income supports including boosting Old Age Security. Economic recovery needs to be felt at the household level, and I will strive to ensure that it is.
In terms of future public-health emergencies, I will support Liberal government campaigns to rebuild domestic vaccine manufacturing capacity, boost research, protect the most vulnerable and make long-term care homes safer.
3) The price of everything from housing to food and child care is rising rapidly. What steps would a government formed by your party take to ensure all Canadians have access to safe and adequate housing and a healthy diet?
A: I’ve seen the financial pressure facing our community in young families who fear they may never be able to buy their first home, and seniors who fear the loss of life-long homes.
I commit to ensuring that residents benefit from Liberal government programs for first-time homebuyers, rent-to-own projects, social housing initiatives, the $40-billion National Housing Strategy and the $2 billion Canada Housing Benefit. Housing is for people, not speculators.
I commit to supporting the Liberal government’s measures to help our families – the Canada Child Benefit, $10 a day daycare, reduced taxes on small businesses and the middle class, targeted income supports, and jobs. New recovery programs and infrastructure investments are projected to create one million jobs, and I will ensure some of these jobs are in our community.
I will support programs that put more money in residents’ pockets and connect residents with resources. Poverty is the biggest reason people are hungry or homeless, and I commit to connecting people to programs to make sure there’s food on every table and a roof over every head.
4) Racial justice and reconciliation are at the forefront of Canadian consciousness. What steps need to be taken to help right past wrongs and ensure that all Canadians are granted equal voice, opportunity and respect?
A: I am proud of the diversity of our community.
I am proud to be part of a party that has made historic investments to support equality, diversity and reconciliation via commitments to a $30 billion child-care program, an $18 billion program for Indigenous peoples, more than $1 billion to address systemic racism, and the most significant advancement in disability rights in 30 years.
These commitments will help ensure that all Canadians can participate fully in our communities.
In terms of righting past wrongs, I was very pleased to have worked closely with the Semiahmoo First Nation on the lifting of its 16-year boiled-water advisory and look forward to continuing action to advance meaningful reconciliation.
In April, the Liberal government passed legislation to adopt the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, an action that paves the way for transformative change in First Nations communities.
These and other Liberal government programs support equality, opportunity and respect, values enshrined in our Charter of Rights and Freedoms that I will strive to advance across our community.