CCRA News asked MPP candidates in the June 7 provincial election to submit a short bio of themselves and answer this question: What do you think is the most important issue in this community in this election? Here are their answers
Priyan De Silva grew up in Toronto and is an active member of the Scarborough-Rouge Park community. He is a strong advocate for environmental responsibility and social justice. Priyan has worked on poverty reduction, food security and transitioning Toronto towards a 100 percent renewable energy future. He has promoted Ontario’s Greenbelt, the People’s Climate Movement, and mobilized around the United Nations COP21. Priyan lives in Malvern with his wife, Victoria.
Priyan says the most important issue is to get our community a strong voice at the table. Greens have the right policies that put people first. Now we must mobilize and implement.
Felicia Samuel says sometimes, governments get so focused on “the big picture” they forget that progress is best measured by the impact that programs have on the lives of everyday people. Residents need to feel like they’re voting for parties and politicians who understand what they’re going through and are ready to do more than just talk about it. That’s why the NDP is focused on change for the better – childcare families can actually afford, better funding for transit, affordable housing, making sure everyone has access to prescription medication and dental care regardless of income, and creating better opportunities for our youth.
Vijay Thanigasalam has been an active member of the Scarborough community for over a decade. He is truly passionate about the community and genuinely cares about the development of future generations. He actively supports youth employment opportunities in Scarborough, and wants to build an Ontario where residents can pay less and get ahead. Vijay is a supporter of better transit options in Scarborough and advocates for a senior living facility and community services catered towards them. He also aims to restore responsibility, accountability, and trust in the government along with cleaning up the hydro mess and bringing relief to families by respecting their tax dollars.
Sumi Shan is a successful businesswoman with a lifelong commitment to public service. She has more than 20 years of experience in the public, non-profit and private sector. Today, Sumi is a Partner and Managing Director at Infinite Enviro Solutions and founder of Niche Strategies, an international agency focused on supporting startups.
Sumi says the most important issue is the level of care for families in Scarborough-Rouge Park. Sumi is committed to ensuring that local residents have access to care through an expanded Scarborough and Rouge Hospital, affordable child care and free medications for seniors and everyone under 25.
Todd Byers, works in inside sales/ technical support. He is a single father of two adult children who lives in Wilberforce, ON. He was a resident of Scarborough for more than 26 years.
Todd says the most important issue facing Scarborough-Rouge Park is the lack of rapid transit connecting residents to the rest of the city. The current government and the City of Toronto have failed the citizens and wasted taxpayers’ money on trying to find a solution. A private partnership with a ride-sharing service, similar to Innisfil, would provide a quick and reliable solution to citizens of Scarborough-Rouge Park
Amit Pitamber has been a project coordinator for 18 years and has a sign consulting agency called Graphic Solutions. He emigrated from Guyana and has lived in Canada for over 20 years. He grew up, went to school, and started working in Scarborough. Amit‘s main focus is to help families and small businesses. “We will axe the carbon tax that will raise the cost of everything that’s shipped and trucked in. We need businesses to thrive.” Another priority is to better track healthcare expenses.
Amit says the most important issue is the expansion of the Scarborough subway system. Many people I’ve spoken to find it difficult to travel to and from the east end of Scarborough