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SURREY-NEWTON: Meet your candidates for the Oct. 21 election

Efe Michael Obasuyi

Oct. 11, 2019

In the days leading up to the Oct. 21 federal election, we are profiling each of Surrey’s five ridings. You can find them all in our Federal Election section.
With Canada’s last federal election, in October 2015, came some big changes for Surrey’s ridings.
The riding of Surrey-Newton was created in 2012 out of parts of the Newton-North Delta and Surrey North ridings. It was first contested in 2015. It has simply defined boundaries, from 88th Avenue in the north to Highway 10 in the south, and 120th Street is its western boundary and 144th Street its east. Five candidates are running this time. Liberal MP Sukh Dhaliwal is seeking re-election here, challenged by Harpeet Singh (Conservative), Harjit Singh Gill (NDP), Rabaab Khera (Green), and Holly Verchére (People’s Party of Canada).
The Now-Leader asked all candidates to answer the following question: Why do you need to be elected or re-elected?
Listed in alphabetical order, here’s what the candidates said verbatim:
Sukh Dhaliwal (Liberal):
In 2015, people were frustrated by the cuts of the Conservative government that put families behind and the NDP who failed to represent the view of Surrey residents. I ran to change that – to be accessible to constituents, so I could hear their needs, and deliver for them.
That is exactly what I have worked to do in the past four years. Today, families are better off because of the investments our government has made to make sure their needs are looked after.
These investments include, $8 million a month, tax free to families in Surrey-Newton that need it the most, investments of over $1 billion to build more classroom space at Kwantlen and SFU, renew our fleet of buses and improve community centres, as well as millions to tackle guns and gangs specifically in Surrey
Going forward, we will build on these achievements, with new investments that will make life even better for families.
– Lowering taxes to save you nearly $600 a year
– Old Age Security to go up by at least $729 when you turn 75;
– Get an interest-free loan of up to $40,000 to retrofit your home and save more money on bills
– Save $800 a year when we lower fees for before and after school child care
– Get up to $1,000 more to help with the costs of raising a newborn when we boost the Canada Child Benefit for children under the age of one; and
This is the choice in this election: investments that help our families or back to Conservative cuts that hurt families.
Harpreet Singh (Conservative):
Surrey-Newton is one of the most diverse ridings in the country. The riding consists of a high number of new immigrants and covers people from various age groups, income and education levels. But this riding has been suffering from neglect and lack of infrastructure spending after years of having representation from the Liberal and NDP members who have held the seat before.
Being a person who has spent much of my career with a focus on community, I am disheartened to see the state of this community which I am proud to call home. From interviewing many residents as a journalist, I have come to know what is lacking and what people want. I have a personal connection with almost all community organizations who have reached out for help and support, and I will be able to hit the ground running to come to the aid of the community and deliver on what we need.
Being an MP means going to bat for constituents of all stripes. It is time that Surrey-Newton was represented by someone who has spent their time and focus on ethics and community, not paying back friends and allies who serve their own personal agenda. It is time for change, and I believe that I am that change which is why I should be elected the next MP for Surrey-Newton on October 21.
Holly Verchére (People’s Party of Canada):
My name is Holly Verchère and I am the PPC candidate for Surrey Newton.
I am retired after a 41 year career in the airline industry. I have the time to dedicate myself to the concerns of my constituents Surrey-Newton .
This election comes at a very important time in our history. The world around us is changing quickly, and we have the opportunity/responsibility to consider in which direction we want our country to move. I am keen to help facilitate that change in a positive way.
I support eliminating:
-Corporate welfare
-Interprovincial trade barriers
-Supply management (dairy and poultry boards that keep prices artificially high for consumers)
I support fully:
-Standing behind the veterans who have sacrificed for our country
-Ending open borders yet prioritizing persecuted groups
-Reducing overall levels of immigration and prioritizing skilled immigrants in order to grow our country
-Freedom of expression
-FOCUS on concrete improvements due Global warming
-Reform of our “sick”health care system. Wait times are far too long.
-Give Provinces the incentive to deal with wait times and rising costs. Now, the money from Ottawa does not directly fund health care, it is added to the Provincial budget and the Province decides how/where to spend it. Let’s change that by voting PPC.
I am standing for election because I want to part of the team that facilitates positive change in Canada, I am voting for a party I believe in instead of trying to negotiate which party will do the least damage. I am so tired of that stress every election.
Please read the PPC platform at peoplespartyofcanada.ca for more information.
The Now-Leader has not received a response to our question from NDP candidate Harjit Singh Gill or Green candidate Rabaab Khera .
Gill’s biography on the NDP’s campaign website states “Harjit is a radio talk show host and former small business owner who is proud to be raising his family in Surrey. Before he came to Canada in 1997, Harjit worked for several years in the Middle East on major construction projects. He’s committed to making his community a vibrant, diverse place where everyone can thrive.
Alongside community organization, Harjit has worked hard to make Surrey a safer, healthier place for everyone. He’s raised awareness for blood donations, worked to expand mental health and addiction services, and helped create the South Asian Help Line to make sure everyone has access to the services they need. He knows that by taking on corporate tax-evaders and the super-rich, we can make life more affordable for everyone.
Harjit is standing with Jagmeet Singh and the NDP to fight for universal pharmacare, affordable housing, and bold action on climate change.
Khera’s biography on the Green Party’s website states “Rabaab Khehra studies International Relations and Political Science at the University of British Columbia. She is a busy activist in several areas, including human rights, indigenous affairs, LGBTQ+, women and environmental rights.
Rabaab has been involved in many organizations in her community including as a Big Sister where she worked as a teen mentor and as a delegate for the national youth council. She is also deeply involved in her local Rotaract Club, where they fundraise to support causes important to the club and host events such as RotarX, aimed at highlighting the voices of youth. Here, they discuss issues such as diversity and environmentalism. They also work with community dinners, installing community libraries and much more.
For employment, Rabaab works with children for the City of Surrey, as well as a host and busser at a local restaurant.
Rabaab has experience in public speaking, having spoken recently at UBC’s annual F Word conference about immigration and her experience being a person of colour. Here she addressed international racism that people of colour have to struggle with.
Entering the world of politics, Rabaab is determined to see more diversity in every sector of government. She believes the climate crisis must be accompanied with dramatic changes to the system, including higher taxes for polluting companies that damage the environment. Obviously, this includes moving away from fossil fuel subsidies and capacity expansion. She would also like to see investment in disability support, low income families and foster programs.
Rabaab is thrilled by the opportunity to represent Surrey—Newton and bring these important issues to Ottawa.”
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