Posted by: Editor | February 2, 2011

These are the People in Your Neigbourhood: David Hodgins

EsquimaltReview.com continues a  featured series entitled “These are the People in Your Neighbourhood“. In this edition, the Esquimalt Review profiles local resident David Hodgins’s entry into politics. If you would like to contribute a community profile about an individual, group, organization, or business in Esquimalt, please send your ideas to Tim Morrison at editor@esquimaltreview.com

These are the People in Your Neigbourhood: David Hodgins

– Putting out fires prepares Esquimalt resident for the heat of Ottawa

Esquimalt's David Hodgins

Having literally saved countless lives, Esquimalt resident David Hodgins has had an interesting career. He worked his way up from a young volunteer firefighter to community fire chief and on to become British Columbia’s Fire Commissioner and a senior position in the provincial government as an Assistant Deputy Minister for the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General. He is a noted expert in emergency preparedness and crisis management. Keeping our province safe has been quite the challenge and one that David says will help prepare him for perhaps the biggest challenge of them all: restoring sanity to Ottawa.  

David wants to be the next Member of Parliament for Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca. As Dr. Keith Martin has announced his departure from politics, David has put his name forward to seek the federal Liberal nomination for our area.

“I am deeply concerned about the current state of politics and governance in Canada,” says Hodgins. “The top down, command and control approach does not work. We need to do a much better job of listening to the public from within our communities and then acting based on what they are saying, as currently, a lot of people are feeling a “loss of control” over what’s happening in this country.  We need to do what is right and responsible in terms of developing and delivering government services.  It is really about the four “L’s” and the demonstrated Liberal approach of – listen, listen, listen and listen!  We need to focus on real communications, cooperation, collaboration and coordination (four C’s) at the federal government level and involve all political parties. What I bring to the table is real life hands-on experience (day-to-day and during disaster events) with respect to the effective and efficient use of these four C’s.”

 “Collectively we need to recreate the type of democracy that our seniors worked hard to build, that our youth expect and deserve, and that everyone desires.”- David Hodgins.

David and his spouse Catherine have made Esquimalt their home since 2004. He and his family were the first residents to purchase a home in the Ironwood community in the Craigflower Road area. “We were looking for a home that was centrally located and within cycling and walking distance to most shops and services.  Esquimalt has all of this and much more,” says Hodgins.   “We love the warm, open and friendly attitude and atmosphere.  We became members of the Esquimalt Curling Club’s Friday night Mixed League and met many wonderful people and instant friendships were created.  Esquimalt is truly about the people and the people who live here are Esquimalt.  There have been many positive improvements and beautification projects completed since we settled here.”

“The fact that Esquimalt is home to many military families is a real bonus.  I have served as a firefighter and fire chief for several years and have tremendous pride for and understanding of the culture that comes with wearing a uniform,” says Hodgins. “Our troops have earned tremendous respect at home and abroad.  It’s time we step up and truly support the heroic efforts of individuals serving on the front lines and those who have returned home.  This support must be extended to those who are working very hard behind the scenes to support the troops both abroad and at home.  Support means providing the budgets and resources to do the job that we have asked of them and to ensure their health and well-being.  Enough of the current smoke and mirrors approach!”

The federal government is one of the funding partners contributing $250 million towards the construction of a new CRD sewage plant slated for Esquimalt’s McCloughlin Point. Our current MP Keith Martin is opposed to the project, so what does Hodgins say?

“There is much more research to do before making any final decision related to the type and location of a sewage treatment facility.  The right decision is not usually the easiest nor is it the quickest decision. We need to truly listen to the folks who live in and know the area and its needs intimately.  As well, we need to research and better understand which contemporary technologies have been implemented and how they are working in other communities and countries,” says Hodgins.  

On transportation, Hodgins shares Conservative candidate Troy Desouza’s pledge to deliver funding for a McKenzie overpass to ease the pressures of the infamous Colwood Crawl. But, Hodgins adds that more than an overpass is needed to effectively solve our transportation woes. “We need to do a better job of listening to what the local citizens and the transportation professionals are saying with respect to long-term solutions. To deal with the transportation issues and challenges, we need to think broader than just an overpass and take a look at the system to include bicycle paths, railway, bus routes, walkways and more such as the Portland, Oregon example,” says Hodgins.

“At the end of the day, the best decisions for communities come from the community.  With respect to local issues and challenges, the job of the senior levels of government is to develop policy, legislation, programs and services in support of the grassroots and the common sense community approach,” adds Hodgins.

Hodgins is in a competitive contest with Langford Councillor Lillian Szpak for the federal nomination. To be able to support Hodgins in helping him become the official Liberal candidate, Esquimalt residents can sign up for a party membership by February 7.  Memberships are available at the Liberal Party website at https://action.liberal.ca/en/membership.The Liberal Party candidate nomination meeting will be held at the St. Joseph-the-Worker Church Hall, 757 West Burnside Road (immediately adjacent to Spectrum) on Monday, Feb. 21 at 7:00 p.m. For more information, visit David’s website at http://www.voteforhodgins.com or contact him by email at e.david.hodgins@shaw.ca or telephone at 250-590-0222.

If Hodgins is successful in winning the Liberal nomination, he will face off against the NDP’s Randall Garrison and the Conservative’s Troy Desouza in a widely expected spring election campaign.

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