WHy i’m Running
An obvious question that people ask me is why I’m running for Councillor of Loyalist-Cataraqui District. The short answer is because I have a passion to serve the community.
Back in 2015, the present Councillor stated his intention to finish out his term and not seek re-election. When I heard this, I started to give serious consideration to running for Councillor of Loyalist-Cataraqui District. At the same time, some residents of the Loyalist-Cataraqui District asked me to consider running to be the next Councillor of the district when they heard the news as well. Given my desire to serve the community, coupled with the support of Loyalist-Cataraqui residents, I decided to run.
I know that I am the candidate that can most effectively represent the people of Loyalist-Cataraqui District for the following reasons:
Prior experience as deputy mayor and city Councillor. I had the privilege of serving the good people of Collins-Bayridge as their Councillor from 2003 to 2006. I also had the honour of being elected deputy mayor by my fellow Councillors for a 1-year term, from 2005 to 2006. This is very different from the rotating deputy mayor position of a few months that currently exists today. My supporters in Loyalist-Cataraqui want a city Councillor who will be an effective voice for the District at City Hall from Day One, and my prior experience on City Council will ensure this.
Prior experience and education on planning and development issues. Loyalist-Cataraqui is a growing community, and many development plans and proposals will continue to be presented for this district into the foreseeable future. I have a thorough understanding of planning and development legislation, regulations and policies due to my prior experience on the City’s planning committee, as well as my work as a lawyer for a major Kingston law firm in the area of municipal and planning law. Given the present debate in the district over high-rise buildings, traffic management, parks/green space, transit and amenity services, my knowledge of the rules and procedure regarding planning and development issues will ensure that I will be an effective advocate for protecting the interests of Loyalist-Cataraqui residents at City Hall.
I am a consensus builder, not an ideologue. City politics in Kingston has been plagued with divisiveness and conflict. There are individuals and special interest groups whose main focus is on pursuing an agenda at all costs, rather than building a consensus. Previous council elections have been characterized as ‘back-and-forth’ changes between extremes on the political spectrum. Rather than going left or right, we should be moving forward. This requires a Councillor who is not focused on a narrow political agenda, but who is guided by principles, listens to all constituents, and works to build a consensus to move forward, including a willingness to compromise on details. My work on City Council and in the community demonstrates my ability to develop a consensus with constituents.
The best candidate to represent the diversity of Loyalist-Cataraqui District on the City Council. From a general review of the information in the 2016 Census, Loyalist-Cataraqui is one of the most diverse districts in Kingston, after the districts hosting Queen’s University and St. Lawrence College. Approximately 12% of Kingston’s South Asian community resides in the district. Given my involvement with various ethnocultural organizations and groups working toward improved race relations in Kingston, I am the best candidate to represent the diversity of the Loyalist-Cataraqui District on City Council.
Many years of community service. Over the past many years, I have been involved in community groups seeking improvements in community safety, green spaces and nature, heritage, health care, race relations, economic development and schools. Because my community involvement has covered a broad range of areas and sectors, I have a broad understanding of how the Kingston community works. This knowledge helped me when I was on City Council previously, and it will assist me again as I serve you as your Councillor for Loyalist-Cataraqui District.