Justin Trudeau Celebrates ‘Diversity’ with GTA’s Media
By Nouman Khalil
With Canada’s next federal election year underway and rumors of early polls hovering, the Liberal Party seemed to have focused its attention on its former stronghold – Peel region.
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau celebrated ‘diversity’ in Mississauga with the GTA’s media yesterday evening. All of the party’s local candidates –mainly new faces – also attended the event.
The next elections are due in fall this year, but the ruling Conservatives have indicated Canadians may go to early elections.
“It’s time that we should have Members of Parliament whose focus is to represent their communities in Ottawa and not to represent the prime minister in their communities,” said Trudeau. “It’s enough voting against the lefts or the rights. We need to pick a team that respects the extraordinary diversity of this country.”
He said it’s time to pick a team that understands values and doesn’t divide Canadians for short-term electoral purposes.
Trudeau admitted the Liberals vote bank has declined over the past few years, as its seats in the Parliament went down from 170 plus seats in 2000 elections to 135 (in 2004), 100 (in 2006), 77 (2008) and then 35 in the last 2011 elections.
“We need to pick up once again,” said Trudeau. “Many of us had taken it for granted by saying new Canadians would never go to the Conservatives because they don’t believe in immigration.”
He said that is no longer the case.
“Now we have created a team which is much more reflective of the extraordinary diversity of our country,” said Trudeau. “They have diversity in stories, experience, gender, backgrounds, activism, professions, in all those things that really a political party and move together.
In the Peel region, Team Trudeau includes five new representatives– Iqra Khalid (Mississauga-Erin Mills), Gagan Sikand (Mississauga-Streetville), Raj Grewal (Brampton East), Kamal Khera (Brampton West) and Rameshwer Sangha (Brampton Centre).
Others are more experienced politicians: Omar Alghabra (Mississauga Centre), Navdeep Bains (Mississauga-Malton), Peter Fonseca (Mississauga East-Cooksville) as well as Sven Spengemann from Mississauga-Lakeshore.
“We have put together a team that Canadians can look at and say we are going to work hard and solve challenges that we are facing.”
Peel region was stronghold of Liberals until the Conservatives swept the 2011 elections and managed to form a majority government.
Currently rumors are hovering the Prime Minister could call an elections as early as spring.
“Liberals are focusing everywhere, but this (Peel region) is going to be a battle ground,” said Omar Alghabra, former MP from Mississauga Erindale and Liberal candidate for Mississauga Centre.
“The last election was a tough one for the Liberal Party. We recognize the changes and dynamics and we have learned a lot of lessons from that defeat. It gave us opportunity to renew our team with fresh ideas with diverse backgrounds.
“We have a new leader, new team with diverse backgrounds, education and professions. It’s a fantastic diversity and we are very excited,” Alghabra.
He said it’s still going to be very tough, but Trudeau and his team are already working hard on campaign preparations.