Federal NDP candidate John Mogk hugs a supporter at his campaign headquarters Monday evening. (Colleen Flanagan/THE NEWS)

NDP candidate proud of campaign

John Mogk hopes supporters find hope and courage to fight another day

The small crowd cheered at John Mogk’s campaign headquarters when it was announced that the federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh won the seat in his riding.

Other than that the mood was sombre as people trickled into the NDP campaign headquarters at the old Pantry Restaurant on Lougheed Highway Monday evening.

Mogk received 12,802 votes, third behind Liberal candidate Dan Ruimy with 15,957 votes and winner, Conservative candidate Marc Dalton with 19,501 votes.

The NDP won 24 seats across the country, down from 44 seats in the last federal election. They won 11 seats in the province.

When Mogk finally arrived at the office to thank his supporters he had to fight back tears as he told them how proud he was of the campaign that they ran.

“I’m very proud that I raised the issue of getting fair access for advanced planning for neuro-degenerative disorders, like my mother did, that they can have access to medical assistance with dying and have the choice to be able to die with dignity,” began Mogk to cheers from the crowd.

He told them how proud he was that they stood up to fight for the expansion of medicare and the rights of Indigenous peoples to lead the charge for real reconciliation.

“I am proud that we stand up for Canadians who do not see themselves reflected by the values of Ottawa,” said Mogk.

He also congratulated Marc Dalton for his successful campaign while acknowledging the other candidates saying each of their campaigns avoided personal attacks and they participated in the local debates for voters to make an informed choice.

Then he thanked his daughter Mary for her love and support.

“I hope that you will allow yourselves to have your feelings come out, there’s no shame,” he said.

“Feel your sadness, your frustration, your disappointment and whatever else you feel, feel it. Feel it with your friends and family. Feel it with your compatriots here so you can be consoled without judgment. With love and compassion,” said Mogk.

“I hope that we can all find the serenity at some point to accept that we have not won but find the hope and courage to fight again another day,” he said.

“I thought our candidate ran a very good campaign,” said Craig Speirs, who was the NDP candidate in the 2011 federal race.

“He was engaged at every level and really did a good job. I don’t think we could have got much more out of him,” Speirs said of Mogk.

Speirs expected voters to elect a fair amount of NDP MP’s across the country, especially in B.C.

“I don’t think Trudeau deserves a majority. I think he should have a minority where he has to consult with other party’s and maybe we will actually get some electoral reform,” he said.

Mogk said his main reason for running in the election was to improve health care by making sure everyone had the medication that they needed, dental care and mental health and addictions care.

“I want to see more out-patient treatment and more supports given to people that are in shelters so they can move to be more productive people in society,” said Mogk in an earlier interview for The News.

“By making mental health care part of people’s MSP, they can get that help without having to jump through all the hoops, it will help a lot,” he also said.

Mogk chose mental health as a profession after losing high school friends to suicide.

He has worked for Fraser Health at the Maple Ridge Treatment Centre and is currently a therapist at the Tri Cities Mental Health Centre.

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Mogk had also emphasized his Party’s platform to build 500,000 affordable housing units across the country and to put limits on what telecom companies can charge for cellphone and internet service.

With regards to climate change he said that the NDP want to meet Canada’s Paris-climate goals by meeting scientifically based targets. In addition, he said, salmon are in danger and he wanted to move salmon farms from the water to land-containment facilities.

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Asked by City of Maple Ridge council about speeding up “critical transportation and community amenities”, Mogk replied that expansion of the West Coast Express, was a priority, as was the four laning of Lougheed Highway to Mission and the Harris Road underpass.

And on the issue of criminal justice reform he said that the NDP wanted to reduce reliance on mandatory minimum sentences to restore judicial independence and allow trial judges more discretion when handing out sentences.

Mogk was running against incumbent Liberal candidate Dan Ruimy, Conservative Marc Dalton, Araine Jaschke for the Green Party, Independent Steve Ranta and Bryton Cherrier for the People’s Party of Canada.


 

cflanagan@mapleridgenews.com

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