Tue. Aug 16th, 2022

The Citizen invited local candidates in the June 2 election to tell voters what they hope to do for their riding if elected. Today: Ottawa West-Nepean Liberal candidate Sam Bhalesar.

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The Citizen invited local candidates in the Ontario June 2 election to tell voters what they hope to do specifically for their riding if elected. Several responded by our deadline, and we’re happy to share the pitches of those who did. Today, Ottawa West-Nepean Liberal candidate Sam Bhalesar:

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My name is Sam Bhalesar and I am the Ontario Liberal candidate for Ottawa West-Nepean. I have two wonderful sons, ages 9 and 11, with my amazing husband, Nav. My elderly mother, who has Alzheimer’s, lives with me and I work to be her caregiver.

I’m a senior adviser for the federal government (on leave) and have led on projects such as International / Canadian energy projects, G7, G20, Clean Energy Ministerial, and the development of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. I served as chair of the Patient and Family Advisory Council with The Ottawa Hospital, and served as a member of numerous committees at that hospital and CHEO, as well as chair of the Champlain Maternal Newborn Regional Program.

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I decided to run for office because I felt constituent voices needed to be heard. These are trying times and someone needs to advocate for everyone. My belief is that education and health care are fundamental human rights; that the diversity in this riding is a strength; that economic wellbeing, including affordable housing, should be available to everyone; that a well-funded and quality education is our obligation; and that the environment is a precious keepsake. These are just some of the principles for which I will advocate.

I have my education in political science and I have a great deal of experience working with political ridings, women’s clubs, and with MPs, as I have had the honor of holding the position of National Party Secretary for the Liberal Party of Canada. I know the political system on all levels, which is a true benefit to constituents.

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My priorities arise from thousands of conversations with the people in OWN, and my personal experiences. As a caregiver to my mom, I understand that seniors deserve to be treated with respect. I want to bring back the Elderly Acute Care Program at Queensway Carleton Hospital, increase the number of personal support workers and nurses who graduate from college, and provide more resources to keep seniors in their homes. I will advocate for policies for small business, working families, women, people of color, and others left on the sidelines.

I support incentives for electric vehicle purchases, planning trees and slashing transit fares to $ 1 per ride to allow Ottawa West-Nepean commuters an affordable option to drive. I support building 1.5 million new and affordable homes through a new Ontario Home Building Corporation.

My hope is to collaborate with others and think critically about how to best meet and serve the needs of all constituents of Ottawa West-Nepean. I will be an intense proponent for those issues that concern the residents, no matter the issues.

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