Occupation: Parks and Recreation worker, City of Port Coquitlam
Marital status: Married, father of two adult children
Political experience: Union activist, NDP campaign worker
Community involvement: Basketball coach 20 years, mostly at Terry Fox Secondary, and at Capilano College for 10 years.
What are the most important issues of this campaign for you?
I’ve been able to learn at doorsteps what the most important issues are. People are worried about the economy, and they are worried about the HST. And if they have kids, what they are worried about is that they won’t have the same kind of future, and the same kinds of opportunities.
The NDP would invest money into family-sustaining jobs, rather than tax cuts for big corporations. We’re trying to make your life more affordable, and we’re trying to preserve the middle class.
Also, many Sikh people in Abbotsford are frustrated at long waits, up to 15 years, to obtain family reunification visas, to bring grandparents to Canada.
Do you see the HST as a federal issue?
About 18,000 people in Abbotsford voted against it. It hurts seniors, young families, students – it makes things more expensive; everything from a cup of coffee to a haircut to parking. Hopefully we can correct that, and make things a bit better.
There is anger at the prime minister over the tax. He doesn’t realize how angry people are about this Harper Sales Tax.
Is the P3 water plan good for Abbotsford, and is promoting P3 projects good public policy?
There is information that shows in the long run, the P3 plan could cost taxpayers more, as opposed to local government bearing the cost of system expansion.
Almost $70 million in federal P3 funding is only available if the system expansion is done in a private partnership, which is a case of Abbotsford taxpayers are being bribed with our own money.
Why take this risk of putting our water for-profit, if we don’t have to?
How do you react to the Harper government being found in contempt of Parliament?
To echo NDP leader Jack Layton’s comment, Harper is “soft on crime in his own office.”
This issue does not seem to resonate with voters: On the doorstep, people are concerned with paying their mortgage. Abbotsford is a working-class town, and that’s not as big an issue here.
Why should people vote for you?
I have put in 30 hours per week campaigning for most of two years, in addition to having a full-time job.
I will continue that kind of work ethic.