Surrey Centre MP Randeep S. Sarai, South Surrey-White Rock MP Gordie Hogg, Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge MP Dan Ruimy and Fleetwood-Port Kells MP Ken Hardie help serve breakfast at Our Place shelter in Victoria, July 8, 2018. (Twitter)

Hot summer ahead for B.C.’s federal Liberal MPs

Gordie Hogg chairs B.C. caucus, housing and pipeline on public’s mind

Liberal MPs from around B.C. are meeting on Vancouver Island this week, hearing about the need for low-cost housing and child care as they prepare for a federal election next year.

The party’s B.C. caucus now has 18 MPs, through the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley and as far north as Kelowna, much of it fallow ground for federal Liberals until Justin Trudeau took the leadership into the 2015 election. The latest addition is former MLA Gordie Hogg, who won the Conservative stronghold of South Surrey-White Rock in a December by-election after it was vacated by former Surrey mayor Dianne Watts.

Hogg spoke with Black Press after meeting Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps and Vancouver Island community groups, mainly about the pressures of homeless people and a shortage of child care options for parents.

Funding applications are coming in for the Trudeau government’s national housing strategy, a $40 billion program that aims to reduce homelessness by half over 20 years. Hogg said the B.C. caucus is doing “triage” on the many requests, to represent the B.C. needs with the national caucus as housing and other funds are allocated.

Liberal MPs are also bracing for the start of work across the B.C. portion of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, which is being taken over by the federal government amid protests and legal action by the B.C. government in an effort to impose more restrictions on crude oil transport.

“There’s certainly a lot of controversy over it,” Hogg said. “In some of our urban ridings it’s more prevalent, although polling is telling us now that even in some of the urban ridings it is at least 50-50 and seems to be growing in favour of it. So we’ve seen a shift in terms of the public perception.”

The federal government supports the project because Alberta oilsands crude is currently selling at a discount of about $20 a barrel.

Trans Mountain has filed its latest six-month work plan with the National Energy Board, with work camps and pipe yards across the province to be set up this summer.

“The intent is to get it up and going as quickly as we can,” said Hogg.

RELATED: Trans Mountain gears up for B.C. pipeline

Meanwhile, one-time Conservative leadership candidate Rick Peterson is heading a pro-resources group called Suits and Boots, planning a series of meetings and rallies. He said the recent media stunt by Greenpeace, with activists dangling off the Ironworkers’ Memorial bridge in Vancouver, appears to have backfired.

“Peterson said the group has been “overwhelmed with messages and donations” since the bridge protest ended in arrests of the participants last week.

“We can no longer stand by and let this stream of anti-resource propaganda spread like an infectious disease, so we’re gearing up for pro-resource blitz across B.C. this summer,” Peterson said.

The group plans to meet with mayors, councillors, MLAs and MPs in the Northwest, Cariboo, Okanagan, Vancouver Island and Kootenay regions.

Just Posted

Greyhound to end bus service in B.C., Alberta

Company axing passenger bus and freight services in Prairies, and cutting all but one route in B.C.

First Nation pipeline protesters erect ‘tiny homes’ in B.C. Park

Kanahus Manuel and Tiny House Warriors say more homes being constructed in park

France doubles up Croatia 4-2 to win World Cup

Played in Moscow Russia, latest Fifa World Cup marks the highest scoring final since 1966

Wildfire season is here

Tips to protect your property

REPLAY: B.C.’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Former NHL goalie Ray Emery drowns in Lake Ontario

Police say the 35-year-old’s death appears to be a ‘case of misadventure’

Air quality statement warns of smoky air for Kamloops area

Environment ministry says area on north side of Thompson River may be affected by wildfire smoke

Pussy Riot claims on-field protest at World Cup final

Russian protest group claimed responsibility after four people ran onto field in police uniforms

Fans party on Montreal streets after French World Cup win

To city is home to nearly 57,000 French nationals

B.C. VIEWS: Making private health care illegal again

Adrian Dix battles to maintain Cuba-style medical monopoly

Almost every part of Canada’s largest national park deteriorating: federal study

Drawing on decades of research — the report lists 50 pages of citations

Activists protest outside Kinder Morgan terminal in kayaks, canoes

Tsleil-Waututh elder Ta’ah Amy George led the water ceremony from a traditional Coast Salish canoe

Canadian soccer fans brace for World Cup final between France, Croatia

First ever final for the Croatians, while it’s France’s third, going into match as betting favourite

Most Read