Photo: Tom Zillich

Photo: Tom Zillich

FEDERAL ELECTION 2021

SURREY CENTRE: 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?

Seven MP candidates are competing for your vote in Surrey Centre on federal election day Monday, Sept. 20.

Voters in Surrey Centre will have a choice of Liberal incumbent Randeep Sarai, Conservative Tina Bains, New Democrat Sonia Andhi, Green Party candidate Felix Kongyuy, Kevin Pielak of the Christian Heritage Party, Joe Kennedy of the People’s Party of Canada and Ryan Abbott, of the Communist Party of Canada.

Of these, Sarai, Bains and Pielak also ran in the 2019 election.

This riding, according to Elections Canada, is 44 km-squared with a population of 120,172 and of that 74,637 eligible voters are on the list.

Running west along 88 from 148 Street, its boundary line then runs north on Scott Road, turns west on 96 Avenue to the Fraser River, then carries on to the Port Mann bridge from where it runs southeast along Highway 1 to 152 Street, then west along 100 Avenue to 148 Street, where it runs south down to 88 Avenue.

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:

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Ryan Abbott, Community Party of Canada:

Our priority is people & the planet over corporate profits! We demand immediate action on the climate crisis, meaning the termination of TMX, Site C, fracking, and the AB tarsands. Considering that the military accounts for 60% of federal emissions for imperialist warmongering, we would pull out of NATO and also cut their budget by 75%

We need to finance a people’s recovery, meaning placing the energy & transportation sectors, the banks, and the pharmaceutical companies under public, democratic control, doubling the corporate tax rate to 30% – coupled with a policy of industrial nationalization without compensation for multinational corporations who threaten workers with plant shutdowns.

This would allow us to build a full-employment economy, legislate a $23/hr minimum wage & 32 hour work week with no loss in pay, and create millions of good jobs in the construction of renewables, mass transportation, and public housing sectors.

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Sonia Andhi, NDP:

I’ve worked closely with the people of Surrey Centre for many years. I’ve been talking to people on the doorstep about their worries, and for many it’s housing. For too many families, owning a home seems like an impossible dream. People in our city are worried about whether they’ll have money for food, or rent. The choices made by Liberal and Conservative governments have left us in this predicament, but New Democrats are fighting for people. Our government will create at least 500,000 affordable housing units in the next ten years. My first priority as your Member of Parliament would be to advocate on behalf of Surrey Centre and ensure members of our communities have the affordable housing they need. These housing projects would also create jobs and boost our economic recovery.

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Tina Bains, Conservative Party of Canada:

My first priority is to open all avenues of communications with the constituents. Too often are we told by parties and governments what they think Canadians need without any genuine effort to ask what the public wants. Our incumbent references millions in social payments to constituents but fails to recognize that social payments are not an indicator of good economic health or opportunity, but rather a stark reality that there are significant problems that have gone unaddressed. Every election is important, however this one will shape our nations’ history. When you vote for me, your Conservative Candidate this election, you will gain a humble employee who understands the value of hard work, the meaning of accountability and an open door to all constituents. That is my promise to you.

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Joe Kennedy, People’s Party of Canada:

My first priority, if elected, is to set a clear example squarely based on the People’s Party of Canada’s four principles: Freedom, Fairness, Respect and Responsibility.

I am running in this election because I am concerned about the freedoms we all hold dear. They are under attack. First and foremost, I would work to protect our Charter Rights and Freedoms. To me, that means no vaccine passports, no “papers please,” no lockdowns, no mandates and no big-tech censorship schemes!

We watch negative, divisive speeches from the other leaders of the federal parties… they stand on the podium at campaign stops, dividing Canadians and pointing fingers. A divided Canada, citizen vs citizen, vaccinated against unvaccinated, does not make for a better tomorrow. Remember, it is “The True North Strong AND Free!”

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Felix Kongyuy, Green Party of Canada:

As an Arbitrator, Business Consultant, and Community organizer, I will be tackling the unaffordable housing crisis in Surrey Centre. For too long, we’ve tried the three major parties, yet what has changed? People are hurting, and we cannot ignore the housing crisis. This crisis never began in 2021. Here is what I will work with others in Ottawa to do: Implement a retroactive residential tenant support benefit, raise taxes on vacant unit, ensure surrey get its share of 50,000 supportive housing in the next ten years, build and acquire a minimum of 300,000 deeply affordable non-market units, coop and non-profit over a decade, crack-down on money laundry in Canadian real estate, restore tax incentives to build rental housing. Change legislation that prevents indigenous groups from accessing finance through CMHC and increase the funding for municipalities to build more rental units.

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Kevin Pielak, Christian Heritage Party:

The First thing I would do is to restore the culture of life or respect for human life to Canada. The Christian Heritage party policies of protecting life, family and freedom are based on truth and common sense. I will protect life from conception to its natural end. I will make laws to stop the barbaric killing of babies in the womb. I will also, stop euthanasia, the killing of the elderly and sick. I will restore the legal definition of marriage as between one man and one woman. Freedom is essential. Canadians need to be free to speak about abortion, gender, radical Islam and vaccines for or against. We would restore everyone’s right to refuse or accept medical treatment such as the covid vaccine. We would say No to Vaccine passports. No to coercive injection protocols. We will focus care on the elderly and vulnerable.

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Randeep Sarai, Liberal Party of Canada:

Since 2015, I’ve worked tirelessly to fight for our share of federal funding, programs, and recognition. While I am pleased with what we have accomplished, I understand that progress can feel slow and there is still more work left to be done. If re-elected, my first priority is finishing the fight against COVID-19. We must continue on this path of supporting our families, businesses, and ensure no one is left behind as we strive to build back better from this pandemic. I got into this for us, for you, for our collective community; to ensure that we build responsibly and with sustainability in mind. Surrey is transforming, led by changes at its core; right here in Surrey Centre. With better public transit and post-secondary education options and continued support for our families and businesses, we can keep making progress and move Surrey Centre forward. For everyone.



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

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