Surjit Singh Flora
With local municipal elections happening on Oct. 24, there is an opportunity for communities to give serious consideration to who will represent their interests over the next four years.
The electorate has their say, electing people to make decisions on their behalf for the best of their city and the success and future of their citizens. They bestow upon this governing body a mandate to do the hard work of setting policies designed to deliver collective services to the community with the limited resources provided.
However, when we look at what has happened in Brampton, it has become clear that something has become broken within the city. The recent council does not appear to understand the value of building relationships with each other, with their fellow staff, and with the greater community. The investment of time and energy, emotional angst on the back end, disrespect, contempt, and personal attacks have created unhealthy relationships that undermine sound governance from the last 4 years. If one group wishes another to fail, then everyone fails. That’s what the picture of Brampton City Hall has been for the past four years.
Politics takes leadership, political savvy, administrative skill, and the ability to attract businesses and residents. These are all the qualities we can see very clearly in mayoral candidate Nikki Kaur, who is a rational, moderate, and independent thinker unafraid to go against partisan ideology. That’s what she did in her role with the city, and in speaking truth to power, Nikki stood up for every taxpayer in 2021 to demand better from City Hall.
Recognizing that environmental problems are serious and affect everyone’s health and well-being, Kaur is well-aware of Brampton residents’ problems and how to tackle them. Not only that, but she has made respect for the freedom of the individual a key part of her platform, which sometimes entails putting restraints on big business, big government, and/or big labor. She has the best vision for understanding and working with them.
Bramptonians want to see accountability, transparency, and integrity in the Mayor’s office. Kaur is the best mayoral candidate because she embodies honest, strong personal ethics, compassion, and tolerance to fulfill the needs of the people.
Citizens trust a mayor who demonstrates integrity and honesty. Transparency and accountability are at the heart of good governance; thus, a successful mayor should keep voters informed about policy implementation. During online discussions and past mayoral forums, citizens noted that they lacked information on several local initiatives and that past mayor mostly failed to fulfill his electoral campaign promises.
Past mayor was too busy to just meet his voting bank. Sure, they spent a lot of time adding street names, new parks, and new religious ceremonies and celebrations, but who pays for all these ceremonies? Or the security for these events? It’s the taxpayers. That mindset needs to change.
While talking to Asia Metro this week, Nikki Kaur made it clear that she will do her best to stand for Bramptonians and make sure every taxpayer dollar is spent on transparency and for the best of the city’s success.
To tackle crime, guns and gangs, Kaur wants to take a tough approach, working in tandem with all levels of government and Peel Police to ask for more units and more funding to make our streets safe at day and night, as well as boosting “safe neighbourhood” programs with the support of the community.
Business owners are also facing the pinch as they try to apply for new permits. Their files are buried at city hall, with the excuses of fire, health, and safety issues being reasons not to approve them. Kaur wants to make new policies for business permit approvals, putting an emphasis on addressing safety concerns and streamlining communication between businesses and by-law departments clear and faster to process.
After months of conflict between the current mayor and his allied group and a group of opposing councillors, Brampton citizens are looking for a change. Thus, policy delivery is an important metric of success.
The citizens want a mayor who communicates efficiently and effectively and remains open to the citizens’ needs. Undecided voters wanted mayor to be attentive, communicative, approachable, and courteous to their constituents. They gave mayors who followed these behavioral guidelines high marks. With great experience of working with public groups, Kaur would bring her experience and negotiating skills as a lawyer to take on this leadership role and unite all the city staff together to work for taxpayers, not for their own family or friends, Kaur said.
A successful mayor must establish and execute citizen-focused, evidence-based policies and ensure their execution. The new mayor must design strategies to address concerns like inadequate infrastructure and urban congestion. A successful mayor invests in all regions of the city, addressing all groups and residents. Lastly, the policies suggested should lead to the mayor’s strategic goals and vision for the city, giving it a direction while giving its residents the best quality of life.
It is clear to this publication that Nikki Kaur embodies the qualities of a leader—a visionary and strategic approach to community relations and a clear set of priorities as opposed to isolated policies with little-to-no impact.
This Oct. 24, your vote matters the most.