South Surrey-White Rock MP Gordie Hogg denied Monday that he issued a formal endorsement of White Rock mayoral candidate Grant Meyer.
A Facebook campaign ad posted the day before on behalf of the White Rock Coalition candidate – an incumbent councillor – includes a picture of him with Hogg and a quote from the Liberal MP, dated February of this year.
Hogg is quoted as saying “of all the councillors I’ve worked with around the province, he’s one of the most diligent and conscientious…I’ve worked with Grant on railway issues and the promenade extension and his follow through was excellent.”
In a Facebook post Monday morning, Hogg said he felt the need to clarify his position after receiving numerous phone calls.
“In an effort to dispel confusion, I wish it to be understood that I do not endorse any candidates in the municipal elections,” he writes, noting he stands by “any comments made while working with people in the past, including the comments posted.”
However, later Monday, Hogg confirmed he had given Meyer full permission to use the specific comment in campaign advertising.
Hogg told Peace Arch News his remarks had been in an email last February after Meyer had been helpful in bringing together an information package on railway issues to be submitted to Minister of Transport Marc Garneau.
Meyer told PAN the use of Hogg’s remarks do not constitute an endorsement.
“He was speaking to my character,” he said. “He did not say I endorse this candidate for this office, although some people might say it’s darned close to an endorsement.”
Meyer said he feels the issue – which has created a furor on social media – was “much ado about nothing.”
“I’m sure it irritated some people who don’t have the same relationship with Gordie… I consider him a mentor – I like Gordie and I’m pleased he’d speak that highly of me.”
Hogg said he had not seen the Meyer campaign’s use of his remarks as a problem but realized clarification was necessary after receiving reaction from constituents.
“My concern was that this was being interpreted as an endorsement, while that clearly was not the intent.”
Hogg said he had been approached by a number of candidates seeking endorsements in the civic election.
“I’ve told them all the same thing – that I’m not prepared to endorse any one of them.”
Hogg – a former White Rock mayor – said that in more than 20 years of service as both MLA and MP, he had “dealt with many of the (civic) candidates.”
“There may well be other candidates who could make similar postings of things I had said about them, and they would be welcome to use those,” he said. “Democracy Direct White Rock has had pictures of me on their website for a long time, I understand.”