A former fire chief and assistant deputy minister is aiming to win the Liberal nomination for Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca.
David Hodgins, 61, a resident of Esquimalt, said he wants to be part of the team that does away with the “command and control” style of government led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Hodgins’ concerns echo outgoing Esquimalt-JDF MP Keith Martin, who decided not to run for a seventh term due to endless partisan bickering in Ottawa.
“I’m quite concerned with the way this government operates,” Hodgins said. “It’s not what the people want, it’s not what the people expect and it’s time to get back to a government that serves the people.
“We’ve got to get back to democracy in this country. Right now we don’t have co-operative decision making on significant issues.”
Hodgins served as a fire chief in communities in Ontario and Alberta before moving to Esquimalt in 2004. He worked as a B.C. fire commissioner and assistant deputy minister in the Ministry of Public Safety and the Solicitor General. In 2007, he was one of the main architects behind Alberta’s emergency management agency.
Hodgins said his work history has given him broad experience in senior government and understanding the collaboration it takes to develop policy and legislation.
“One thing I learned in my career is you have to be involved to make change. It’s not good enough to sit on the sidelines,” he said. “I want to take my passion for collaboration and develop the right relationships in Ottawa to make things work.”
Locally, Hodgins said he is in favour of building an interchange at McKenzie Avenue and the Trans-Canada Highway as one facet of building transportation infrastructure.
Federally, the health care system needs more focus on preventative solutions while using existing resources, he said.
“We have to reinvest in the system in a preventative way,” he said. “We can’t afford to keep putting money into the emergency and siren side.”