B.C. NDP leader John Horgan at the opposition doors of the B.C. legislature chamber. He hopes to use the government entrance after the May 9, 2017 election                                B.C. NDP leader John Horgan at the opposition doors of the B.C. legislature chamber. He hopes to use the government entrance after the May 9, 2017 election. (Black Press)

B.C. NDP leader John Horgan at the opposition doors of the B.C. legislature chamber. He hopes to use the government entrance after the May 9, 2017 election B.C. NDP leader John Horgan at the opposition doors of the B.C. legislature chamber. He hopes to use the government entrance after the May 9, 2017 election. (Black Press)

B.C. ELECTION: John Horgan takes on provincial and community issues

‘It’s been exciting and challenging’ as leader of the NDP

NDP leader and MLA John Horgan isn’t your typical politician; he’s passionate, firm of his word and surprisingly humble.

Mind you, such characteristics can only take him so far, as he’s also caught in an electoral battlefield that, if played hard and well, could give him the title of premier of B.C.

When asked how it’s like to be the leader of the opposition, Horgan says it’s been exciting and challenging, on a journey that has barely begun.

“It’s tough to be living out of your suitcase rather than from your own bed, but it’s a small sacrifice for me for the enormous benefit that will come to B.C. if we’ve got a government that will deliver on the things that I heard about, not just in Sooke, but in Langford and across the province,” Horgan said.

His tour of the province began three weeks ago, taking his team’s bus up to the Okanagan, from Kelowna down through Penticton, to Osoyoos and back to the coast. But if it means putting a real human face to that vote, then it’s worth doing it.

“My modest little sacrifice is nothing compared to the hard work that British Columbians are facing every day to make ends meet,” Horgan said, adding that in his 12 years as MLA he’s been trying to have and maintain a local presence.

Being there, regardless if it it’s to be loved or hated, but being there in the first place in your community is what’ll make the difference, Horgan added.

“I see all the positive things that have happened and all the much more we can do if we listen to communities,” he said. “If we had a provincial government that was there for our community leaders we could do spectacular things.”

As far as the election goes, Horgan said since it’s four years later, a lot of the challenges from four years ago are even worse today and continuing to emerge, such as the housing crisis on the Lower Mainland and Southern Vancouver Island, even Kelowna and Penticton.

“We’ve seen rises for houses skyrocket, but we haven’t seen affordable housing come on stream to replace the houses that people used to live in or rent, they’re just not there anymore,” Horgan said, recognizing that affordability for families and regular people is the No. 1 issue nowadays.

Horgan’s grasp on local politics hasn’t come from a textbook either, having lived in the same street, on the same house in Langford for the last 25 years. Unlike the approach of his rivals, Horgan said his time on the ground in Sooke and Langford is what’s given him the edge to make that connection between his party’s cause and the community he’s turning to support for.

“I go to down to the Stick in the Mud, or the Reading Room Cafe, I just slot myself down at a table and have people come over and talk to me. That’s when people really tell you what they think.”