BY SUKH DHALIWAL
THE Liberal Party of Canada Surrey-Newton nomination meeting that took place last weekend was amazing to witness in person. Almost 7,000 people showed up to take part in selecting the next Liberal candidate for the new riding, and I am proud of the final results that demonstrated overwhelming support for our campaign: 4,561-2,221.
I am so very thankful for the hundreds of volunteers that worked side by side with me over the past few months. Their efforts really made a difference, and I was humbled and honoured that they would volunteer their time to help with my campaign.
I have really learned from this experience. The fact that some Liberal members waited in line for over three hours to vote demonstrated a couple of key lessons for myself.
First, it showed the strength and interest in a renewed Liberal Party under the leadership of Justin Trudeau. Justin has been able to the capture the imagination of the Canadian public because of his approach to politics, in spite of what Stephen Harper will have you believe.
Consultation, inclusion, bold decision making and speaking from the heart have all been characteristics that have guided Justin as Liberal leader. It is a leadership style that is accessible, which is a message that I have heard support for from thousands of Newton residents over the past few months.
The nomination meeting also showed me that there is a real desire for change in Surrey-Newton. As a Member of Parliament, I always made addressing the local concerns of constituents my first priority. In the riding of Newton-North Delta, residents knew that my office was always ready to take issues directly to Ottawa. I was happy to stand up in the House of Commons and bring forth speeches, petitions, statements and arguments on behalf of the people.
In terms of dealing with constituents’ files, my office was also the busiest in all of Western Canada. My staff and I took pride in knowing that our efforts were directly helping the community.
The motivations of other elected officials seem to be different from my philosophy. Being on television, only speaking about high profile issues, and trying to gain political influence and power seem to be the priorities that many are most concerned about.
For me, politics isn’t about getting profile, or receiving media coverage, or even about winning. It is about serving the interests of Canadians. That is where my focus begins and ends, as it should be for every Member of Parliament.
Connection to the community in which you live and represent is everything behind being an effective representative of the people. I have always felt connected with Surrey residents because of a common love of our community and everything that it offers us as residents.
I’m excited to once again be a Liberal candidate again. I am really looking forward to immersing myself in the community and meeting with all residents, groups and cultural communities who are looking for someone to really listen to their issues and take up their causes.
This has been missing in Surrey-Newton since 2011. It’s time for a new beginning.