As Canadians, we know that we live in the best country in the world. That’s been my belief since my family immigrated here over 50 years ago when I was a child. Our transition to Canada was difficult but we worked hard – to learn English, to adapt to the culture, to get educated, find work, and make a better life for my kids and our community. I’ve been living the immigrant dream ever since.
My experience as a Canadian has been enriched by continued volunteering; helping to found Canada’s longest running breakfast program in Strathcona, establishing Canada’s first community garden for food in the downtown east side, working with immigrant settlement services for new Canadians, winning the park board volunteer of the year award and fostering 7 children, among other activities.
On the tail of the greatest recession of our times in 2011, I was elected as the Member of Parliament for Vancouver-South. It was an uncertain time in the global economy and Canadians knew that they needed the leadership, security and stability of a strong Conservative majority government. It was an honour to serve and during my term, we achieved lower taxes for families and businesses, and a balanced budget. When I left office Canada had free trade access that had been negotiated with 38 more countries to help diversify the Canadian economy than when we started.
Since leaving office in 2015, I’ve been appalled by what has happened.
I’m disappointed that so many great policies we put in place have been taken away from Canadian families by this government: The child fitness tax credit, support for small businesses, increased tax-free savings accounts that help fund retirements and more.
I am disgusted with the way the Prime Minister treated Jody Wilson-Raybould, a strong female cabinet minister.
I am embarrassed by the current Vancouver-South MP and Liberal Defence Minister, Harjit Sajjan, who did nothing to defend his cabinet colleague when she was trying to uphold the rule of law and actively supported his government in their attempt to ruin the career and life of Vice-Admiral Mark Norman.
And, I am scared that the ever-increasing deficits will leave my children mired in an unsolvable debt crisis.
In 4 short years, this government has undermined the foundation of what Canada is: freedom, democracy and the rule of law. Continued ethical violations, forced cabinet shuffles and economic incompetence at home have undermined our standing abroad. Our country was embarrassed in India by the Prime Minister’s visit, our trade with China has been destroyed by naïve foreign policy and our North American free trade agreement was weakened by inexperienced leadership negotiating with the USA.
Canada is not better off than it was 4 years ago, and Vancouver-South is certainly not better off. The current MP for Vancouver South and Minister of Defence is equal parts culpable and responsible for the failures, mistakes and embarrassments of this current government. It is time to restore good government in Ottawa and this is why I am running in the upcoming federal election.
Canada and the people of Vancouver-South deserve better. We need a Canada that looks after our seniors, defends its veterans, provides opportunity for our youth, and supports small businesses.
As the Vancouver South Member of Parliament, I worked with residents on our priorities and delivered on local issues such as the Killarney Senior’s Centre, vehicle charging stations, and more. It was the Conservative government that built better transit like the Canada Line. Currently, we need real action on local issues such as better transit options for the residents of the River District, more senior’s housing, and additional tax incentives to grow small businesses so they can thrive instead of closing their doors. We need to create policies which help our residents and neighbourhoods so they can prosper.
On this Canada Day, let me assure you that your voice matters. Thank you for sharing your concerns and issues with me over these past months. With your help, we can restore experienced, ethical government in Ottawa so we can again look forward to a brighter future!
Conservative Candidate, Vancouver South
Former Member of Parliament, Vancouver South