AAJ Magazine had the pleasure to sit down with Mr. Gordon Hogg, former BC Liberal MLA for Surrey-White Rock, who is running for MP in the upcoming by-election taking place on December 11th, 2017.
Gordon was born in Victoria and moved to White Rock when he was only 2 months old, with his father practicing as one of the first physicians in the area. He feels very fortunate to have grown up in this community, and loved it so much so that he continues to reside in White Rock with his wife, with whom he has one son.
Gordon has always been highly active in the community. He was a superb athlete who played on a UBC Junior Men’s basketball team that won a national championship. Gordon also played little league baseball, fastball, football and soccer. He credits sports with teaching him a lot, including: building character, how to get along with others, and how to create a sense of community.
It was also sports that led him to his political journey. After attending a White-Rock city council meeting to source support for a little league team that he coached and led to the Western Canadian Championships in Edmonton, Gordon was sitting at home at the kitchen table with a glass of milk and a peanut butter sandwich. His mother asked him how the council meeting was, and Gordon said “it was old people making silly decisions, we were last on the agenda.” At that point, his mother looked at him like only a mother can and said, “son, I’d always hoped I could raise you to be the kind of person that if you didn’t like something, you wouldn’t complain about it, but you’d get involved and try to make a difference.” These words struck a cord with Gordon, causing a number of sleepless nights, and resulting in his running for council as a way to live up to his mother’s expectations. Gordon has never looked back since. His accomplishments include: representing the riding of Surrey-White Rock from 1997 to 2017, serving as the Parliamentary Secretary for Not for Profit Public Partnerships, serving as the Minister of State for Mining, the Minister of State for ActNowBC, and the Minister of Children and Family Development. Gordon served on White Rock city council for 20 years. He was a mayor for 10 out of those 20 years.
Cultivating and promoting a sense of community is very important to Gordon Hogg. His parents grew up in the prairies, and his father’s family suffered greatly during the Depression. His father aspired to attend medical school, but the financial constraints faced by his family left him unable to, until a community doctor (Dr. Fraser) offered to cover some of his tuition fees. A sense of community and supporting each other are two life lessons that Gordon holds close and strives to promote in his campaigns and political service. Gordon’s first job was as a Youth Probation Officer, wherein he attended youth gang and domestic violence calls with the Surrey RCMP. He later became Warden of BC’s largest youth jail, Willingdon Youth Detention Centre; and also became a foster parent. Gordon states that “[he and his wife] learned as much from these kids, as they ever learned from [them].”
Some of the issues that Gordon would like to address in his ongoing political endeavors include: improving health care (particularly with respect to the aging population, within Canada and across the world); the cost of housing (and how it’s pushing people away instead of integrating them into communities); transportation challenges (including the light rapid rail in Surrey); and the notion of a healthy environment. Gordon Hogg, the man with a heart of gold, truly is the heart and soul of White Rock, and a key member in shaping Canada to be the way it is today and will be a key voice in helping to positively shape our country.