Sunday, October 17, 2010

Citizen of Vaughan - Tahmena Bokhari

In her official and non-partisan capacity, Tahmena Bokhari attended a political community event for candidate Julian Fantino for MP in Vaughan, ON.

With regards to the event, Bokhari stated, "As a proud resident of Vaughan, I am highly interested to hear about the vision of any potential candidate for public office, whether that be for Mayor or MP. Vaughan is a growing city with even faster growing diverse communities and we are beginning to engage with all of the various complex issues related to such growth. I want to know if potential leaders have factored this into their planning. As a Canadian citizen of Pakistani origin and a woman, as well as a diversity professor, consultant and member of Vaughan Diversity Committee, I am interested to know if potential leaders can appeal to me.”

Bokhari went on to say that her questions about all potential candidates include, “Do the want-to-be leaders have an understanding of the issues and the interests of the specific diverse communities that make up my home town? Is their vision inclusive of seniors, immigrants, women, youth, faith groups, ethnic groups and does their vision include a sound and balanced approach to current and potential social challenges and problems related to housing, transportation, small business, violence, and isolation? Are they aware of problems related to ignoring social capital? Do they have a track record that indicates commitment to social inclusion? In addition, we need strong, ethical and strategic leadership in the areas that make up our quality of life such as economic development, preserving green space and environmental efforts, public transportation, and a strong culture, recreation and arts scene. And that’s not all, are these leaders tuned-in to the global forum? Can they reflect the values of Canada that brought my family here? Can they remain true to the humanitarian legacy that we are known for around the world? I believe any one who wants to earn a salary by speaking on behalf of Vaughan, must have a clear path with respect to each of these issues."

It appeared that very few Vaughan residents and no local and other media were present. The only media appeared to be a conservative-supporting radio station. This may be due to Vaughan being known as a Liberal riding.

On a personal note, Bokhari stated that she commends any citizen who wants to serve the people, "Political views aside, it takes courage and is a tremendous personal and family commitment to run for public office. New immigrant communities should look at the example set by the waves of immigrants in Canada's history. This includes how they contributed not only the cultural and economic landscape but also in the formation of municipal, provincial and federal policy. It is in every Canadian's interest to ensure that all of our voices are represented."

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