B.C. New Democratic Party leader and the MLA for Juan de Fuca

John Horgan reflects on the last 10 years

Juan de Fuca MLA and Opposition Leader talks about his years in cabinet

ea where “the heck the time went.”

That’s how the New Democratic Party leader initially chose to describe the past 10 years as MLA for the Juan de Fuca riding.

“In the first campaign in 2005, my attitude was to see how it goes and hope I do a good enough job to get re-elected,” he said.

Following a failed leadership bid halfway through his second term, Horgan said his focus remained on doing the best job he could for his constituents. He managed to increase his margin of victory in three consecutive elections, and secured the party’s leadership in 2014 after the bitter provincial election defeat in 2013.

Horgan credited much of his success to his ability to maintain good working relationships with all of the mayors in his riding.

“There’s a different focus in each area,” he said. “Langford is this dynamic, growing urban centre, bordered by Metchosin and the Highlands, (who) fiercely want to remain rural. The riding is an interesting mix of urban and rural all the way to Port Renfrew.”

Horgan sees a lot of good in both extremes and enjoys trying to keep a foot planted firmly in both camps.

“Langford has transformed into a family focused, development friendly urban centre with amazing recreational facilities, which I really enjoy as a sports fan.

“At the same time, I totally respect the rural lifestyle preferred by people in Metchosin and the Highlands. People talk about amalgamation a lot, but you’re dealing with very diverse communities on the West Shore.”

Horgan is quick to point out the positive role that First Nations are increasingly playing in creating economic opportunities and progressing with treaties, especially in Sooke and Port Renfrew. “I like the direction of Sooke’s new council,” he added.

He’s also excited about the two new high schools being built on the West Shore in Langford and Colwood that will provide more trades training opportunities for youth.

“I attend the graduation ceremonies every year at Belmont and Edward Milne (in Sooke),” Horgan said. “The next generation is filled with hope and apprehension about what the future holds. I think it looks bright for young people and young families.”

editor@sookenewsmirror.com