New South Surrey-White Rock MP Gordie Hogg says he will focus on transportation, housing and environment

After taking the win with 47.5 per cent of the vote, Gordie Hogg says federal Liberals have given the province the tools it needs to go forward with Trans Mountain pipeline in safest way possible while bolstering the economy.

'There was a lot more emphasis on environment than I have heard in previous years here'

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and South Surrey-White Rock Liberal byelection candidate Gordie Hogg attend a rally in Surrey, B.C., on Saturday, December 2, 2017. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

Transportation, housing and the environment were the top concerns of constituents leading into the byelection, according to the newest Liberal MP, Gordie Hogg, who took the win in the South Surrey-White Rock riding.

It was one of four byelections in the country Monday but the historically conservative riding was the only one to see a party switch.

"There was a lot more emphasis on environment than I have heard in previous years here," Hogg told Rick Cluff, host of CBC's The Early Edition.

Despite that concern, Hogg said he didn't hear much regarding the Trans Mountain Pipeline, which was approved by the federal Liberals earlier this year, a decision Hogg defended by citing the need for revenue to support the economy.

"The ocean protection plan is a pretty rigid one — the most rigid one we've ever seen," he said.

"The amount of money that the federal government has now put into that provides us, I think, the best balance we can have in terms of the protection of the environment and ensuring that we get  some of our important commodities to market."

Crime in Surrey

Reducing crime and gang activity was not among Hogg's top five priorities, despite his years spent working in corrections as a probation officer and the regional director of B.C. Corrections.

However, he acknowledged that some residents may not feel safe given the number of shootings and the high level of criminal activity in the region.

Hogg said efforts should involve building stronger communities in which neighbours know each other and focus on prevention and support.

"It's about prevention, it's about the healthy environment," said Hogg.

NDP distant third

Hogg took the seat vacated by Conservative Diane Watts who resigned to run for leader of the B.C. Liberal party.

He won with 47.5 per cent of the vote, while Conservative Kerry-Lynne Findlay followed with 42.1 per cent of the vote. The NDP finished third with only 4.9 per cent.

Hogg said he hopes his 20 years as B.C. Liberal MLA for of Surrey–White Rock as well as his 10-year tenure as mayor of White Rock will help him collaborate with all levels of government "particularly on issues of transit and housing and, indeed, health care."