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FLEETWOOD-PORT KELLS: Candidates reveal their first priority if elected

We asked each candidate the following question: What is your first priority if you are elected on Sept. 20?
Photo: Tom Zillich

Six MP candidates are competing for your vote in Fleetwood-Port Kells on federal election day Monday, Sept. 20.

In Fleetwood-Port Kells, you have Liberal incumbent Ken Hardie, Conservative Dave Hayer, Raj Toor of the NDP, Green candidate Perry DeNure, Amrit Birring of the People’s Party of Canada, and Independent Murali Krishnan.

And of these, Hardie is the lone candidate to have also run in the last federal election.

Fleetwood-Port Kells’ boundaries run from Surrey’s eastern border with Langley west along 88 Avenue to Highway 15, then southwesterly along the Serpentine River to 68 Avenue, from where it runs north along 144 Street to 88 Avenue, east to 148 Street, northerly to 100 Avenue, east to 152 Street, north to Highway 1, northwesterly to the Fraser River, and then easterly and southeasterly, capturing Barnston Island, to the north-east point of the city’s shared boundary with Langley back down along that border to 88 Avenue.

Elections Canada says this 74 km-squared riding has a population of 116,958 people and 80,410 eligible voters.

We asked each candidate the following question: What is your first priority if you are elected on Sept. 20?

See their responses below, presented in alphabetical order:

Amrit Birring, People’s Party of Canada:

1. I will work to fix our housing situation. Housing is fundamental to every human being and family. After air, water, food, and clothing, housing is most important. I will work to plug the hole of foreigner’s allowed to buy Canadian housing and land by banning it until further notice. Foreign buying is impoverishing and weakening Canadians.

2. I will work to prevent Canada from turning into a totalitarian state by not ordering/forcing/coercing Canadians to Government’s will. Human beings are free and have dignity. That shall be maintained.

3. I will work to empower/enable all kids to pursue post secondary education. They should have motivation. Education should be available and affordable. We need to compete with the world. Our schooling needs to focus more on child development activities like academics, values, and sports rather than giving them sex education in grade one.

Perry de Nure, Green Party of Canada:

My first priority if I am elected September 20, would be to set up a communication network that will reach all the constituents in Fleetwood-Port Kells. I recognize that not all people have access to electronic devices, therefore using the resources provided with a constituency office, so that I can connect with everyone is crucial. Everyone in the riding, whether they voted for me or not, deserves an opportunity to have their voice heard and an avenue to make that happen, which could include a section in your paper, if that were possible. From there I would ask what are the constituent’s priorities, so that we can get to work on what matters to them. During this short campaign it is not possible to reach everyone with the limited time and resources available, therefore this first step is crucial to achieving the goals we as a riding wish to accomplish.

Ken Hardie, Liberal Party of Canada:

I have a few priorities: first, just like we’ve done for the last six years, to keep working on immigration and visa files for our Fleetwood – Port Kells constituents. With COVID-19, applications are taking longer to process and we want to see those files moved forward. Secondly, while our Liberal government has dedicated millions of dollars to improve the supply of affordable housing in Surrey, I want to see action ASAP on other steps I pushed for, including more action on things that drive up the cost of homes - money laundering, foreign money ‘hiding’ in our real-estate market and tougher rules on speculators. Houses should be homes for families, not for profiteers. And I want to get community conversations going on better ways to deal with drugs, guns and gangs as well as dealing with hate in our community and online.

Dave Hayer, Conservative Party of Canada:

I have knocked on over 15,000 doors focused on hearing concerns directly from Fleetwood-Port Kells residents. The overwhelming response from residents is to focus on improving our economy; jobs; reliable transit, crime in our neighbourhoods, housing, and the environment. If I am elected MP for Fleetwood-Port Kells, my first priority will be to find meaningful solutions to these important issues so that we can build a stronger community, support our seniors, families and businesses as they struggle to survive through this pandemic. I will engage with the hard-working community associations in Fleetwood-Port Kells, and other stakeholders including our business community, to work collaboratively to improve the quality of life and prosperity for all residents. I’m known for being accessible and will continue with my regular “Coffee with Dave” meetings so that I hear concerns directly. I will work tirelessly to help build our community and support our residents.

Murali Krishnan, Independent:

My priority would be to get back life to normal times as it existed prior to COVID – 19. Next would be to tackle issues faced by people in the society such as crime, homelessness, health care; transportation and secure jobs for people who have lost due to the pandemic.

Raji Toor, NDP:

Many of families in Fleetwood-Port Kells can’t afford to take the medications they need because they have no coverage. People working jobs without benefits are forced to skip their medications, and seniors who can’t pay out of pocket have their health put at risk. Instead of addressing the growing costs, the Conservatives made the problem worse, and the Liberals spent six years stalling.

As your Member of Parliament, I want to join Jagmeet Singh and the NDP in our fight to expand Medicare, including quality prescription drug coverage for everyone. I will work to make sure that when you walk into a pharmacy, all you’ll need is your health card, not your credit card.

No one should have to choose between medicine they need or food for their table. Our pharmacare plan will guarantee that every Canadian can get the medication they need, leading to a healthier Canada.

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About the Author: Tom Zytaruk

I write unvarnished opinion columns and unbiased news reports for the Surrey Now-Leader.
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