Despite numerous delays caused by winter weather, the Gazette was able to catch up with local MLA John Horgan while he waited for his next flight during a blitz of appearances in the Okanagan.
“I guess you can say we’re in full campaign mode,” the B.C. NDP leader said regarding his hectic schedule. “As leader of the opposition, I’m out of town a lot these days. I’m grateful people are cutting me some slack for being away with all the travel. It’s getting tougher and tougher to be everywhere, but hearing what’s on people’s minds in our community is still front of mind, whether I’m taking the bus out to Sooke or going to a rugby game.”
Horgan, who has held the Juan de Fuca riding since 2005, sees education as a key point in the election coming up on May 9.
“It’s a red-hot issue on the West Shore and in Juan de Fuca,” he said. “Stats Can shows all the growth is out here and the province is not keeping pace. We need more schools to meet the growth.”
The lack of people in place to care for seniors is another important issue as well, Horgan noted. “Seniors are having a harder time getting the care they need in their own community.”
He also cited the lack of an effective transportation strategy on the West Shore and throughout the Capital Region as another area where the government needs to do more.
Regarding overarching issues not unique to the West Shore, Horgan said rising costs are a major concern for families.
“The increasing cost of hydro, ICBC, MSP, tuition fees, increased costs for K-12 in transportation and basic materials are making it harder for people to make ends meet,” he said. “I’m hearing that across the province wherever I go.”