Brampton candidates tackle issues at town hall

Published October 14, 2019 at 3:47 pm

Have you figured out who to vote for in Brampton for MP on the October 21 election after the long weekend where you may have had some time to digest on the decision over Thanksgiving turkey dinner?

Have you figured out who to vote for in Brampton for MP on the October 21 election after the long weekend where you may have had some time to digest on the decision over Thanksgiving turkey dinner?

The parties have released a number of policies they want to move forward on should they form government and you might have seen at least some of Brampton’s local candidates door knocking in your neighbourhood. But what do these people want to do specifically for Brampton?

The City of Brampton recently hosted a town hall at the Rose Theatre and invited candidates from five of the main parties to represent their party who are running in Brampton. Photo courtesy of Ameek Singh

Only the NDP sent all their candidates running in Brampton to the town hall, which you can watch it in its entirety below:

The panelists consisted of a Peel school board trustee and members of local media organizations from Brampton. Questions raised included violence in the community, climate change, infrastructure and cybersecurity.NDP candidates (from left to right) Jordan Boswell, Melissa Edwards and Mandeep Kaur

In the climate change portion, the People’s Party candidate Gaurav Walia (Brampton East) would only say he would help the local community work on whatever initiatives they brought forward. The Liberals said they would make zero emissions vehicles more affordable, while the Conservatives touted their promise of bringing back transit pass tax credits and offering credits for green retrofits on homes.

The NDP’s Saranjit Singh (Brampton East) talked about greening the electricity grid by 2030 and the Greens said they would replace all vehicles with electric ones and build a cross country electric vehicle charging system, expand VIA rail services and a national building retrofit program.

Another panelist asked each party to list the major projects that they would secure funding for should they form government and how the candidates would get the money from the federal infrastructure bank for Brampton’s projects so that the money is secured and used on schedule.

Liberal Ramesh Sangha (Brampton Centre) gave a rather rambling answer about working with the city and securing the funding, at which point the panelist gave Sangha a second chance to answer the question. Sangha responded by saying a re-elected Liberal government would secure funding on the LRT and more housing.Liberal candidate Ruby Sahota (centre) answering question surrounded by fellow candidates Ramesh Sangha (left ) and Sonia Sidhu

Conservative Arpan Khanna (Brampton North) said it was a shame that all the Liberals could get for Brampton in the last term was “a few buses”. Khanna said he wanted to look at all day two way GO and perhaps extending Doug Ford’s Ontario Line to Brampton. NDP candidate Navjit Kaur (Brampton West) talked about her party’s goals of bringing a university and a hospital to the city. 

NDP’s Jordan Boswell (Brampton Centre) pointed out when there was a ‘Liberal’ mayor in Linda Jeffrey, a former Liberal provincial government and five Liberal MPs projects were still stalled, while Boswell said getting only one per cent of funding was ‘shameful’. 

The Green Party talked about their proposed ‘council of Canadian governments’ so that Brampton would have ‘a permanent seat at the table’ to keep working on issues like getting more infrastructure for the city. Conservative candidate Arpan Khanna answering a question

When asked about Quebec’s Bill 21, Walia from the People’s Party said there needs to be “an analysis” of the specific issues regarding that legislation, which bars people from wearing religious symbols if they work for the government. Liberal Maninder Sidhu (Brampton East) was more direct, saying “Bill 21 is discrimination, period,” adding that Trudeau was the first leader who said he’d challenge the bill if he needed to.

But Conservative Ramona Benson Singh (Brampton East) pointed out that Quebec tabled their bill 6 months ago before the election was called and the Liberals didn’t do anything then, adding Trudeau’s blackface incident was not an example of leadership. “I’m sorry that you (Sidhu) are using it as a political thing. I will be standing in the picket line if anything like Bill 21 comes into Ontario,” Benson said.People’s Party candidate Roger Sampson (Brampton West) 

Saranjit Singh said his leader, Jagmeet Singh, defies Bill 21 every time he campaigns for people’s votes in Quebec.

Other debates that were held, at least individually for each of Brampton’s five ridings, were done by the Brampton Board of Trade but their questions were mainly focused for a business crowd.

Advance polls opened this past long weekend from October 11 to 14, 9 am to 9 pm. Voters in Brampton and across Canada go to the polls on Monday, October 21.

If you attended or watched the town hall, did you find it informative enough for you to decide who you are going to vote for?

Cover photo courtesy of Ameek Singh

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