Reaching out to those running for the upcoming Federal Election, regardless of party can often be a one-way street.
Those running for office are quite often open to criticism from individuals who have no idea who the individual is, other than knowing they like or dislike their respective party.
I reached out at the first All Candidates meeting held by the Delta Chamber of Commerce to ALL SEVEN individuals who are running and despite their busy schedule, I have received replies from three, none coming from the “big three parties.”
The most recent candidate I spoke with was Independent MP-Delta Amarit Bains who was quite open for any questions asked, who I should mention is single.
Amarit grew up in Delta and attended school from K-12 playing various sports such as Soccer, Ball Hockey and spent time as a Referee in boy’s and girl’s Soccer and in high school he played Basketball, Rugby and Football.
He has two Sisters, one older and one younger with the younger Sister spending time on the soccer pitch playing for SurDel in the area while the older Sister was more inclined to focus on school.
His Father was an Assistant Coach for one of the North Delta soccer teams and as a good Mother would, she was the backbone Family supporter/cheerleader.
He mentions that his Parents instilled strong community values to the Family encouraging his three to be involved in various groups, teams or organizations that they felt comfortable with outside school.
From here he went on to University in Victoria and started a course called the Bureau of Sociology Students to which he was elected twice before moving on to Law School in the United Kingdom.
While there he was elected by his peers as the Publicity Officer for the Canadian Law Society where he played an instrumental role in setting up a meeting with Peter McKay Federal MP (1997 to 2015) who served as Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Minister of National Defense, and Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Cabinet of Canada under Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
I touched on the topic of “bullying” in today’s society and what it was like for him and his Family in Delta, to which he was very open and candid.
I asked this only due to the fact that I hear negative comments as a referee in various sports and while he has heard the odd comment there was nothing out of the ordinary that stood out but even at a young age the comments were overwhelming to hear.
He mentions that his teachers in Richardson, Sands and North Delta were very supportive that in the long run helped when he got to University.
One teacher in Delta that stands out (and there were many to choose from) his own point of view was Mrs. Webb at Richardson in elementary school mentioning “she was phenomenal.”
He remembers that students that had graduated would stop by and take her out for lunch as she was so well respected.
I challenged him and asked why he wanted to not only get involved in politics, but run as an Independent and avoided the topic of the Massey Tunnel.
Why – only due to the fact that both the Provincial NDP and Liberal Governments have held Delta residents hostage over this topic far too long, rather than work together and we would be better off if this was a school project, cause it would get done!!
He was the type of person who was interested in politics, paying attention to topics relevant to the area or community, “keeping his ear to the news.”
He mentions that at this point in his life there are no real good option for him personally mentioning “you have to do things yourself as you can’t expect others to do what you want.”
He set his sights on running as he wanted Delta to have an option and let everyone know that there is someone here for them, which isn’t the easiest to do, mainly due to the fact he has to pay the “tab” himself.
He’s been using his savings which isn’t cheap for anyone and it’s been tough but he’s learned a lot and has made himself informed while at the same time getting lots of feedback, all in a positive light.
I asked if he had reached out to anyone, such as other politicians either currently in power or retired individuals he knew, to which he mentioned “he wanted to do it himself.”
Through the two All Candidates he mentioned the first was like a “meet and greet” and get to know the community, while the second was more informed with over 400 attending, many of which gave him encouragement.
He felt that the second All Candidates he felt more comfortable and loosened up somewhat given what he had learnt from the first one which was overwhelming to say the least.
Topics he feels Delta residents should focus on, without being slighted toward anyone is that there is an aging population in Canada that need to be taken care of.
Many Delta Senior’s have told him that the CPP amounts they are receiving are not sufficient enough to which they would like to see the CPP benefits increased.
This is where the National Pharmacare system could help out adding that the young families need help as well and it’s not the money and tax credits, it’s the available affordability of child care.
Environment is also on his agenda and he understands that you can’t fix everything at once and he mentions that the Carbon Tax is unfair to BC Residents as we’re getting taxed twice.
BC has the highest gas prices in Canada and the Government(s) should do more to invest into renewable energy sources as we aren’t the ones that is polluting the entire world, but we do our part.
The TransMountain Pipeline is controversial to say the least and he feels there should be more discussion with the Indiginous Groups who he feels want to be more involved in the overall discussion knowing that there needs are addressed.
I threw him a curveball and asked him if there was one thing that the Government has done that impacted or affected his life to which he replied, “When the Liberals wanted to help the middle class and got rid of the Small Business Tax Credit which had a huge impact on the Mom and Pop Family Business.”
Previously they were allowed multiple tax credits and now they are allowed one small business tax credit, which affects the middle class and unfair they removed it.
Small Business need more help adding when it comes to Government in the sporting world there is no real incentive for Families who have more than one child who wants to play sports.
While another party is offering the incentive of up to $1000.00 for Families who have kids wanting to play, this clearly doesn’t help out and yes these types of programs need to be there.
He mentions “It’s sad if a youngster wants to play sport and the Family simply can’t afford to pay the fees” regardless of the sport.
Delta is fortunate to have a variety of parks and building for today’s youth and given the fact that Mayor Harvey and Council passed a motion effective July 1st, 2019 for all school age students in Delta the use of Delta Facilities for free,
Lastly his message to the public is “If you vote for the other parties you will only do what the Leadership tells them to do and this alone doesn’t and won’t benefit Delta and a vote for me will benefit Delta.”
Thanks to Amarit for his time and being so open and direct with his answers to any and all questions put forward.
Again – to date only three of the seven candidates have responded to my offer and that tells me they either don’t care or don’t want to care about Delta and only want your vote!!!