GuelphToday asked each of the candidates in the upcoming federal election to provide a brief biography and what they see as the key election issues.
I am a lifelong resident of Guelph. I have been married to Azam for 28 years and I have two children, Yousaf (13) and Noor (22). I attended Tytler and Brock Road public schools and Centennial high school. I studied nursing at Conestoga College and Ryerson University and I have been a registered nurse for 23 years.
I specialized in labour and delivery at Guelph General Hospital. Sometimes, when I am out canvassing and I meet someone at the door, they recognize me as the nurse who attended their child’s delivery! My nursing practice is now in mental health care, working at the Hamilton-Wentworth Detention Centre.
I am a proud member of the Canadian Nurses Association and the Ontario Public Service Employees Union. I ran for MP in 2019 and now I am running again.
Reason for running
As a nurse, I saw how our personal health is influenced so much by social determinants. Our well-being depends on our support networks: our families, our communities, our healthcare system, and our environment. I felt that I could not just stand by while our environment deteriorates, systemic discrimination persists, and public services such as medicare and education suffer from underfunding.
Working the front lines during the COVID-19 pandemic made me acutely aware of the need for change - coming not only from the grassroots but also from national leadership - leadership that has been absent.
We have heard empty promises from Liberal governments for decades - a national childcare program, electoral reform, reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, pharmacare for all. We have heard these empty promises for decades. Where is the action?
I have been advocating for my patients at the bedside and I have advocated for my fellow nurses, but now I think I need to do more, and I am hopeful that I can do more, as a member of parliament.
Running in 2019 was a positive experience for me. I am proud that my example has inspired my daughter Noor to run for the NDP, in our neighbouring riding of Wellington-Halton Hills.
Since 2019, I have been building a diverse and creative campaign team. I believe that together, we can win this election; and with Jagmeet’s leadership, we can change Canada for the better.
Key election issues:
The COVID-19 pandemic, the recognition of the appalling history of the Residential Schools, and above all, the climate crisis - these realities have exposed truths that can no longer be disguised. Wealth inequality has reached intolerable levels, with billionaires vacationing in outer space while First Nations children are made sick by lack of clean drinking water and our hospitals have to rely on lotteries to fund vital medical equipment. We must respond - right now - to these crises. Tinkering is no longer an option! That’s what all of the key issues have in common: they are challenges that require that we come together, in unity, to make transformational changes.
The Jagmeet Singh team’s commitments include: 1) Curtail Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions and prepare our economy for the carbon-neutral future. 2) Extend our public medicare system by including essential dentistry, prescription drugs, long-term care, and mental health services. 3) Put reconciliation at the heart of all government decisions. 4) Make life more affordable. Remove the interest charges from federal student loans. Create 500,000 units of quality affordable housing in the next ten years. Stop the price gouging by cell phone and internet companies. 5) Ensure that the ultra-rich and the most profitable corporations pay their fair shares of taxes.