BC NDP candidate for Delta North Ravi Kahlon. (Submitted photo)

BC NDP candidate for Delta North Ravi Kahlon. (Submitted photo)

Meet Delta North BC NDP candidate Ravi Kahlon

NDR sent candidates a questionnaire to help voters learn more about them. Here’s what Kahlon had to say…

Current Occupation: Delta North MLA

Why are you running? Why would you make a good representative for your constituents in the legislature?

I’m running because I know that an MLA’s job is to make your life better. I’ve worked hard on your behalf for the last three and a half years. I am seeking your support to serve for a further four years as MLA for Delta North. You can be sure that John Horgan and I are always on your side.

Since being elected in 2017, I’ve been an advocate and a champion for Delta. Working together we’ve achieved many improvements and investments from the BC NDP provincial government to make our community better.

These include a new track, two new playgrounds, and new social housing units. Seismic upgrades for our schools were completed. And we’ve secured $250 million for infrastructure improvements along Highways 91 and 17 to address traffic congestion in our community. Work continues on another key infrastructure investment—the Massey Tunnel replacement.

Thanks to Premier Horgan, I was given many opportunities to play a role in making our province better as well. I helped restore our BC Human Rights Commission that the BC Liberals had eliminated, and traveled the province to build an anti-racism strategy. I’ve also leadership roles in our forestry resources and fighting the pandemic.

What are the three most pressing issues facing North Delta residents and how will you address them?

COVID-19 Pandemic: The top election issue is COVID-19. Because of the pandemic, people are worried about their loved ones and a future that looks different than we had ever imagined. The BC NDP are the best party to fight the pandemic and keep people safe. The BC Liberal’s plan puts all that at risk.

The BC NDP is keeping people healthy and safe by investing in health care, and acting on the expert advice of Dr. Bonnie Henry. We have increased COVID-19 testing capacity; pushed the federal government to close borders to keep us safe; hired 7,000 new health care workers to improve care for seniors; added 600 contact tracers to track and stop outbreaks; and made a record $1.6 billion investment to fight COVID this fall and winter.

When a vaccine is available an NDP government will provide it free of charge to everyone in BC.

Fixing problems with health care the BC Liberals left behind has made fighting the pandemic harder. In this election the BC Liberals will give tax breaks for the people at the top, which would mean less for seniors care and health care. We can’t afford BC Liberal cuts during a pandemic.

Economic Recovery: Because of the pandemic, people aren’t sure what lies ahead for them or their loved ones. They are worried.

When the economic impacts of the pandemic first hit earlier this year, the BC NDP government moved quickly with an unprecedented investment of $8 billion to support people and kick-start the economy.

John Horgan and the BC NDP have implemented or promised many measures to protect and create jobs and support the businesses and people who needed it, including: a targeted Provincial Sales Tax rebate for businesses investing in new machinery or equipment; a 15% tax credit for businesses hiring new staff; Grants to support 15,000 small businesses while protecting 200,000 jobs; training grants for people in high demand fields like health care and child care; a one-time $1,000 COVID relief benefit for most BC families and single people; and freezing rents until 2021.

The BC Liberals will give broad tax breaks to the wealthy and big corporations—even ones making record profits. British Columbians would pay for that with higher fees or cuts to services. The BC NDP believe that people are the economy. By helping people succeed we can build an economic recovery for everyone.

Health care: Now more than ever, British Columbians deserve better health care, faster. After 16 years of neglect by the BC Liberals, the BC NDP is making better health care for you and your family a priority.

The BC NDP is investing in health care to fight COVID-19and get people the care they need: building 13 new or improved hospitals; help solve the shortage of family doctors by establishing Urgent primary Care Centers (21UPCCs so far, 10 more on the way); cutting surgical wait times for key procedures like hips and knees and made significant progress clearing the COVID-19 surgical backlog; will create BC’s second medical school in Surrey to train more medical professionals; fixed the BC Liberal under-staffing of seniors care homes by ending contract flipping, and investing to ensure care homes are adequately staffed; slashing MRI wait times for patients; and 10-year cancer care plan to improve cancer care for British Columbians.

What specific cause(s)/project(s) are you personally hoping to champion if elected?

The key transportation measure I want to champion if re-elected is the Massey Tunnel replacement. The BC NDP have been working full steam ahead planning for a toll-free Massey replacement. Final approval is expected by year-end, and federal funding is committed.

The BC Liberals want to change course and start all over again, risking added delays and the loss of federal funding.

Better care for seniors is another of my top three to champion. In the pandemic, our seniors are most at risk, and COVID-19 exposed the true cost of BC Liberal cuts to seniors care. While much has been accomplished by the BC NDP, there’s much more to be done including building new public seniors care beds, and expanding home care so that seniors can live safely and independently.

Child care is also an important priority. Under the BC Liberals, parents anguished because of a shortage of spaces and high costs. We’re creating new spaces at the fastest pace in BC’s history—20,000 new spaces in the last two years—and reducing costs for parents. We’re on track to meet our goals to help parents. But there’s still more to do.

Notable past achievements/titles/jobs?

Two-time member of Canada’s Olympic field hockey team with a background in banking;

Community volunteer, coached sports locally;

Parliamentary Secretary for the Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources; and

Parliamentary Secretary for Sport and Multiculturalism.

Where were you born/raised? Where do you live now?

I was born and raised in Victoria in a family with a small business background. So I know first-hand the challenges small business owners face. Together with my wife and son, we set down roots in Delta in 2005, and live in the Royal York neighbourhood.

Tell us a surprising or interesting fact or story about yourself.

An interesting insight into my experience with the world happened right here in Delta. It’s 2005, the old track at North Delta High is my training base for the Olympic field hockey team. I’m running on the clay track which is pitted with ruts and puddles. I turn my ankle and fall into one of those innumerable puddles. I thought how could I compete if I can’t find a place to train? I committed then and there to work with the community to get a modern track surface and training facility to ensure the next generation of Delta athletes had better opportunities to pursue their hopes and dreams.

See how the other candidates in Delta North answered these questions here.



editor@northdeltareporter.com

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