Surrey-White Rock MLA Gordon Hogg has had a good run in provincial politics.
The former White Rock mayor and councillor announced this week that this – his fifth term in provincial office, which began with a 1997 byelection win – would be his last.
No doubt, Hogg himself would classify this ‘good run’ as, at times, an uphill climb. Representing the BC Liberal party, Hogg as been viewed – again, at times – as a less-partisan player than most, willing to speak out for what he perceives to be right, rather than what the party faithful dictate is necessary.
A gregarious, sometimes-rambling, fast-talker who approaches most topics from a multitude of angles, Hogg has earned his reputation for both finding the meaning and finding the fun in what, for others, is simply political business as usual. He’s found himself on the occasional outs with local challengers, partisan opponents and his own party leaders alike, as often as he’s been supported by all of the above.
Odd that a person who has dedicated his efforts to youth – youth sports, in particular – is not viewed as a team player. But then, perhaps there are those who view the word ‘team’ as comprising a much smaller membership. Such is politics in this all-too wacky, wild West.
Having survived his first term in opposition, and his subsequent four as a member of government, the former probation officer and regional director of corrections has repeatedly been relegated to the backbenches when his penchant for straight talking has put him on the outs, albeit temporarily, with whatever forces have taken over the party. But then, whatever languishment has been offset by high-profile appointments, including: ministers of state for mining and ActNow BC, minister of children and family development and, currently, serving on aboriginal-affairs and education committees.
Hogg has certainly left the door open to a return to politics, with many wondering whether he has his eye on the reclamation of the mayor’s chair in the city hall where he spent a number of years equal to his time in the legislature. Perhaps Victoria’s loss next spring will be viewed by voters as White Rock’s eventual gain.
Hogg is rambunctious, quick-witted and non-partisanly righteous to a fault; surely, the legislature could not function if all 85 (soon to be 87) MLAs were Gordon Hoggs. But we fear for this province when there isn’t at least one.