For over 30 years, Jati Sidhu has lived, worked and raised his family in the Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon area and now wants to represent the brand new riding in 2015.
Sidhu built a thriving farming business in the area in the 1970s and then expanded into local construction in the mid-1980s.
His community involvement is varied and expansive over his time in the area, serving as a founding member of the Fraser Valley Indo-Canadian Business Association, a board member of Character Abbotsford, work with the Abbotsford Hospice Society, the Abbotsford Police Board and the University of Fraser Valley board of governors.
He said giving back to the community helps drive him.
“Volunteer service is in my blood,” he said. “I have passion dealing with people and doing something better for the community. This area and country was good to my family and children and I have the drive to serve it.”
Sidhu pointed to that community involvement and dedication as his biggest strengths as a candidate.
“It gives me satisfaction if I can make a difference in our community,” he said. “To be able to grow my family up in this area has been amazing and I want them to have the same opportunities I had.”
Politics are not new to Sidhu. He ran federally in the Dewdney-Alouette riding in the year 2000 and has participated in municipal elections in the past. He said he’s been a Liberal since 1994 and that he’s proud to represent that party.
“Equality, fairness and openness are the policies I believe, and the Liberal Party believes in, for all Canadians,” he said. “We have a strong leader [Justin Trudeau] who wants to serve the country from the heart. This country needs a change and strong leadership.”
Sidhu said the biggest issues in the riding are agricultural and economic growth.
“I’d really like to boost agricultural growth in the area and give farmers all the tools they need,” he said. “We need to level the playing field with American producers and whatever they use we should be able to use too. We also need to build up our bridges, roads, schools and hospitals – look at the Dewdney bridge that crumbled the other day.”
He said his experience and passion for the community makes him the right choice on Oct. 19.
“Out of the six candidates, I’m the only person that is heavily involved in volunteer work,” he said. “I’ve been involved in the community for over 30 years; some of the other candidates aren’t even 30 years old yet.”