How will you support community food projects to improve access to healthy, local and affordable food for food insecure residents in the Northern parts of Toronto where fewer services exist?
Definitely, anything that can promote a healthy life should be considered seriously and without political interference. Not only should local, affordable, and accessible produce be utilized, mandatory training and education should be provided for those who purchase and resell food to the public, as well as advertising through media for public awareness.
Areas that can be related to community food, directly or indirectly, and fall under Federal jurisdiction, are Health, Environment, Money and Banking, Trade Regulation, and Transportation. Although food projects in Toronto is strictly municipal, or at most a Provincial issue, there is a need for growth of a national network of Canadian farmers and distribution of fresh, healthy produce within and between cities, and provinces.
Toronto has had a boom of sustainable food businesses and markets and residents choosing to buy local, along with a tradition of diverse food culture. What kind of food do you enjoy from Toronto and how would you support creating local food jobs?
I enjoy a variety of foods since I was born in the Middle East, and had the opportunity to travel extensively, prior to my arrival in Canada. As a result, I do not discriminate when it comes to food. Fortunately in Toronto one can find dozens of ethnic foods from Chinese to African food, and anything in between. Therefore, I enjoy each and every one of them on its own merit.
As an MPP from a small Party, I could introduce a bill for the development of community food initiatives and projects for the purpose of promoting the self-sufficiency of lower income communities, as well as food and farm security. Providing financial incentives, grants and tax credit to motivate those who want to get involved as small and medium business operators in this industry and hire local employees from all demographic groups.
Do you support the establishment of a national food policy? If so, what would it include, and how would you incorporate local input in its development?
Not only do I support a nationwide policy for local food and framers, I encourage the establishment of a volunteerbased local constituency, by participation of local people, to oversee the progress of the initiatives put forward by all levels of governments.
This can be done by presenting the environmental, economical, and health benefits of local food to the responsible ministries and engaging them to have a bi-directional, or tri-directional in this case, dialogue with each other.
What is your motivation for running in this election?
I believe that a stable economy, free from useless restrictions, is one that best benefits communities. And that an unmotivating environment makes society dull in the long run, and complacency carries the danger of being a medium for corruption and crime. That is why I was entered into political affairs to apply my knowledge and experience in an attempt to make a difference.
Which values guide your actions day-to-day?
To keep myself motivated, I employ my skills and techniques to analyze present environment, to understand public needs, and apply faith in principles.
How does your education/work experience prepare you for the duties you wish to assume?
I utilized my knowledge in Medicine, Sociology, Psychology, Politics, History, Economics, Religion, Technology, and Business, all of which were major parts of the many subjects that I had covered through either educational institutions or self-directed study. Drawing on these subjects, I rethought connections between established ideas, and re-combined them in an entirely new way, implementing my unconventional and outside-the-box thinking approach.
What makes you the ideal candidate to represent the people of Toronto Centre?
I am part of the suffering population, neither a politician nor a member of the aristocratic oligarchy. I am just a concerned citizen, who doesnt answer to party leaders, non-delegated industrialists, union bosses, or special groups. I only answer to my electorate.
In your opinion, what is the most pressing problem the people of Toronto Centre face and what specific action will you take to address it?
Poverty, poor social services, and health care, are the main issues that has to be tackled at once. These are merely the signs and symptoms of dieses, unemployment, as a result of sluggish economy in recent years, and widespread disparity in Toronto and the GTA. As an MPP, who is not affiliated to the three mainstream Parties, I can introduce a bill for a Minimum Income Guarantee to eliminate useless and costly bureaucracy, elevating individual dignity and promoting creativity, providing a basic income for those who are in need of welfare, employment insurance, affordable housing, disability benefits, etc. This bill would reduce costs of administering the aforementioned services, and would free up human resources, which could apply themselves to a more productive way of life that benefits the health of society and its prosperity.
In your opinion, what is Ontario's most pressing problem and what specific action will you take to address it?
Instead of using our resources for the needed social services, our government pays a big chunk of national revenue to the private banks to cover interest on the money it borrows. Ontarians are paying over $55-million per day in interest on debt, which affects needed public services such as health care, affordable housing and needed support services, to name a few. And as a result we will only impoverish ourselves and our children, our grandchildren and their childrens children, if we dont take action at this time. As an MPP, who is not affiliated to the three mainstream Parties, I can introduce a bill to reform the process of borrowing money from private banks by government and utilizing the Bank of Canada instead, to eliminate the annual deficit.
What is your long term vision for Ontario and what legacy do you wish to leave beyond your time in office?
My vision focuses on two fronts. First, community activities, facilitating access to basic necessities to elevate social cohesion and interaction, reduce policing by supervising and educating youths. Secondly, to remove party names from the ballots to create a fair playing field for candidates to connect with their constituents, so voters can vote based on the merit of their candidates, and not based on the name of the party. Constituents call for bi-elections, if their elected MPs do not deliver what they promised or act differently than they were campaigning in office.
How does bicycling fit into your regular transportation?
I personally use public transportation (TTC) to commute in the GTA.
What role, if any, do you believe the federal government should take in encouraging a balanced transportation system that includes cyclists and pedestrians?
Areas that can be related to cyclists, directly or indirectly, and fall under Federal jurisdiction, are Transportation, Environment, and Criminal law. Although cycling is strictly municipal, or at most a Provincial issue, there is a need for growth of a national network of cycle lanes and pathways within and between cities, and provinces.
Do you believe that side guards should be mandatory on all trucks to protect other road users?
Definitely, anything that can prevent loss of life should be considered seriously and without political interference. Not only safety features have to be utilized, mandatory training and education should be provided for trucks operators, as well as advertising through media for public awareness.
As a Toronto-Danforth MP, what would you do to represent the needs of cyclists in this riding?
An independent M.P. can introduce a bill for national bicycle transportation as a solution to environmental, economical, and health problems by creating financial incentives to motivate people, such as subsidizing the tax portion of purchasing bicycles. In addition he introduce a bill for development of a mandatory national curriculum for transportation safety in schools.
How would you work to create a cross-Canada cycling network, similar to Quebec's acclaimed Route Verte?
By presenting environmental, economical, and health benefit of green routes to the responsible ministries and engaging them to have a bi-directional, or tri-directional in this case, dialogue with each other.
How would you make Canada's National Parks system more cyclist-friendly?
By mandating and overseeing the Parks Canada's responsibilities, as well as providing free access to the national parks by those ride bicycles or even by foot. Return on this investment can come through attracting tourists to experience bike tours.