Hodgepodge by Charlie Hodge – True Hodgepodge Issues for the Autumn Kickoff

A true hodgepodge of issues worthy of comment in this Autumn kickoff HodgePodge column

Households across the continent roared with pleasure Monday night as the Tampa Bay Lightening finally shutdown, shutout and shutoff the Stanley Cup hopes of the Dallas Stars. Half the cheering was likely from Hockey Playoff Victims (HPV) also known as hockey spouses or hockey’s ‘significant others’ who lost the attention of their hockey loving partners the last half of the summer thanks to the COVID19 Cup series. If the bizarre, summer schedule was long and demanding on the players, imagine being family members.

Regardless of the frustration and inconvenience, hockey enthusiasts were certainly treated to a highly competitive and skill filled series of games from the beginning of the convoluted yet effective playoff format. It worked out even better than league and player representatives imagined.

At the end of the day the best team truly did win.

 If, when and how we ever see an NHL season or Stanley Cup again in the next few years is the new question.


Speaking of winners and losers – I was as surprised as most readers with B.C. Premier John Horgan’s snap election call last week. I’m not convinced it was a wise move, however I’m not shocked either since the NDP seem to have rarely made wise election timing decisions in the past.

On Sept. 24 NDP leader Horgan took his party’s re-election campaign  speaking notes to the opening day of the Union of B.C. Municipalities Conference instead of the traditional Premier’s address. He suggested that since the COVID-19 pandemic is not going away quickly it is imperative that B.C. has solid leadership during the next four years for an easier recovery.

“Let’s get the politics behind us. Let’s have a vigorous debate. Let’s get the issues on the table,” Horgan spewed, signalling the start of politics and what will likely be several weeks of finger pointing, name calling and navel gazing by all parties involved in the provincial popularity play. Look out – here comes the rhetoric.

Horgan suggested there was little need to worry about going to the polls suggesting health precautions will be priority at polling stations while noting that B.C. residents may request mail-in ballots as well.

Naturally both Green Party and Liberals suggested the snap election was not necessary and clandestine in design with both Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson and Green leader Sonia Furstenau suggesting as much during their UBCM speeches.

I have yet to figure out what Horgan gained with a snap election this early versus waiting longer.

To a large degree many B.C. residents seem somewhat content with the job Horgan has done during the past six months of unstable, difficult and fearful times. Horgan has shown poise, confidence, leadership, and a strong defence of the province as a whole with both the Feds and U.S. However he does not have all his ducks lined up.

Once again the NDP are entering an election woefully thin on candidates to lead their charge. In some ridings they had yet to have one planned when the election was called. Certainly many of them are not that well established in their ridings.

Horgan could have taken his time, got his NDP ship’s holes solidly plugged and some main sails set before setting sail on another election campaign voyage into the rough political waters of B.C. politics. Yet again – the boat has left the harbour but there seems no clear course established.

As well, if Horgan had waited another six months or so he would have still had the luxury of planning his work and working his plan. He could have found sailors for his good ship NDP with names and experience – perhaps including some municipal sailors ready to take a gamble and jump ship from city council to provincial. An election now is too early for many potential candidates to make that choice.

The saddest part of the snap election is that it fast tracks the retirement of local MLA Steve Thompson. Steve had announced he would retire at the end of this term however with the election called that timeline is now.

I had the complete honour of working with Steve directly and indirectly on issues over the years and always found him a class act, hard working, effective and focused. His gentle nature and genuine caring have made him one of the more popular politicians in B.C.

You served us well, Steve. Thank you.


The Hodge house could use some support prayers and best wishes for family members. Otti Tomani, Tez’s mom recently suffered a stroke. She is battling back in recovery, however has a long ways to go before she is out of the woods. How much paralysis and damage will remain permanent is still in questions so prayers and best wishes are welcomed.

As well, my brother in law Dr. Keith Reid is battling back from a boggling, mysterious scenario which has left him with significant brain injury. Keith apparently suffered carbon monoxide poisoning while on his sailboat and was found unconscious. He has now survived a coma and in recovery, however how much brain and other damage he may have suffered remains unknown.

I admit I find it troublesome to hear of a brilliant mind such as Keith unable to remember what they did for a living. I know he is in the tremendous hands of his doctors and my sister – however your prayers and thoughts for Keith would be appreciated as well.


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Charlie Hodge is a best-selling author, writer, a current Kelowna City Councillor, and a Director on the Regional District of the Central Okanagan Board. He spent more than 25 years as a full-time newspaper journalist and has a diverse background in public relations, promotions, personal coaching, and strategic planning. A former managing editor, assistant editor, sports editor, entertainment editor, journalist, and photographer, Hodge also co-hosted a variety of radio talk shows and still writes a regular weekly newspaper column titled Hodge Podge, which he has crafted now for 41 years. His biography on Howie Meeker, titled Golly Gee It’s Me is a Canadian bestseller and his second book, Stop It There, Back It Up – 50 Years of the NHL garnered lots of attention from media and hockey fans alike. Charlie is currently working on a third hockey book, as well as a contracted historical/fiction novel. His creative promotional skills and strategic planning have been utilized for many years in the Canadian music industry, provincial, national, and international environmental fields, and municipal, provincial, and federal politics. Charlie is a skilled facilitator, a dynamic motivational speaker, and effective personal coach. His hobbies include gardening, canoeing, playing pool, and writing music. Charlie shares his Okanagan home with wife Teresa and five spoiled cats.


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