By Denise Bacon
The 43rd general election is now history and Scarborough–Rouge Park resoundingly endorsed Liberal MP Gary Anandasangaree to represent the riding in Ottawa again. He received 31,339 votes out of the total 50,305 votes cast here. Gary said he was humbled by the support he received from the many volunteers who helped run his campaign, which ran on “hope and hard work.”
“Thank you from the bottom of my heart,” was Gary’s message to the volunteers who gave enormously of their time and effort.
While knocking on doors and meeting constituents, he learned that the most pressing issues were around health care and education, which are within provincial jurisdiction. Within federal responsibility, the environment was top of mind for many and they wanted to be assured that the government would “have a handle on the environment.” People challenged Gary about the purchase of the pipeline and he acknowledged that it was critical to figure out the best approach for Canada.
Another hot button topic, as expected, was the lack of effective public transit in Scarborough. Gary plans to continue working closely with the “Scarborough Caucus” (six Liberal Members of Parliament) to advocate to build infrastructure in Scarborough. They have met and will continue to meet with the Minister of Infrastructure and the Prime Minister’s Office on this issue.
Regarding transit in Scarborough, federal funds have been allocated but will not be disbursed until there is a firm plan for building a transit system. The federal government is accountable to taxpayers and it needs to ensure that dollars are spent responsibly. The condition on the federal transit funding allocation is that if there is no tripartite agreement between the federal, provincial and municipal governments within two years of the allocation, the federal government can then work directly with the City of Toronto to start building transit.
While Gary and his team are dedicated to helping constituents with local issues, Gary also works internationally and in Canada on human rights. He wants to build a greater understanding and support for refugees worldwide to respect the dignity of the human being. Canada is built upon principles of equity and human rights and Gary believes it is important for Canada to show leadership in this regard on the world stage.
Gary is ready to get working again for Scarborough–Rouge Park as soon as the 43rd session of Parliament is opened and all members of the House of Commons are sworn in. Governor General Julie Payette set November 18 as the date for the newly elected House of Commons to convene.
Gary’s constituency office for the upcoming term will continue to be at 3600 Ellesmere Rd., Unit 3.