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Federal election 2021: Candidate profiles for Scarborough—Rouge Park

Your choices for UTSC’s MP
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Clockwise from top left: Asad Rehman, Gary Anandasangaree, Zia Choudhary, Kingsley Kwok. COURTESY OF KINGSLEY KWOK, THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY OF CANADA, THE LIBERAL PARTY OF CANADA, THE PEOPLE'S PARTY OF CANADA
Clockwise from top left: Asad Rehman, Gary Anandasangaree, Zia Choudhary, Kingsley Kwok. COURTESY OF KINGSLEY KWOK, THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY OF CANADA, THE LIBERAL PARTY OF CANADA, THE PEOPLE'S PARTY OF CANADA

Four candidates are running for the Scarborough—Rouge Park MP seat — the riding in which the UTSC campus is located — in the upcoming federal election on September 20. 

Gary Anandasangaree, Liberal Party MP Candidate 

Gary Anandasangaree is the Liberal party MP candidate for the Scarborough—Rouge Park riding. Anandasangaree is the incumbent MP for the Scarborough—Rouge Park riding and has held office since 2015.

He is a strong advocate for refugee rights. Anandasangaree earned a JD law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School and expanded his advocacy from there. He often represents the Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada at the United Nations Human Rights Council. Before he formed political roots as an MP, Anandasangaree managed his own law firm. 

In a prior interview with The Varsity, Anandasangaree acknowledged the importance of student engagement in politics. He explained that students hold a valuable position in determining the results of an election.

His current campaign’s focus has been on climate action, affordable housing, accessible childcare, and reconciliation. “I had to run in order to ensure we leave our world better off than how we found it,” wrote Anandasanfaree in an Instagram post, explaining his motivation for re-election. 

Zia Choudhary, Conservative Party MP Candidate

Zia Choudhary is the Conservative MP candidate for the Scarborough—Rouge Park riding. In an email to The Varsity, Choudhary explained that his experience in the private sector as a real estate broker and financial advisor and his political experience working with his father makes him “an ideal candidate.”

He elaborated, “I have a good understanding on the issues on ground faced by our youth… I understand the need of the hour is to balance the economy and focus on affordability [and] at the same time create opportunities for youth so that they can inculcate themselves seamlessly into the workforce.”

Choudhary asserted his belief that the future of Canada lies in its youth. He highlighted that his goal is “to improve funding for mental health services across the country especially for our youth and students.”

On the subject of climate change, Choudhary wrote, “As Conservatives, we understand that actions are far more important than words and we aim to get started on infrastructure projects immediately putting your Carbon tax dollars to proper use on green initiatives.”

Kingsley Kwok, New Democratic Party MP Candidate

Kingsley Kwok, a respiratory therapist and former candidate for the New Democratic Party (NDP), is again running as the NDP candidate for the Scarborough—Rouge Park riding. He is passionate about promoting a smooth and equitable pandemic recovery.

If elected, Kwok will fight for safer working conditions, speak out against racism and Islamophobia, and lobby for better emergency leave benefits. 

He supports the NDP’s plan on student debt, which includes granting a five-year grace period on loans, forgiving up to $20,000 in student debt, and moving away from loans and toward student grants. He also wrote that mental health care should be provided to those who need it without cost and that the NDP’s pharmacare plan will help Canadians get the help they need.

He also wrote that, with regard to climate change, the party would eliminate fossil fuel subsidies, establish carbon budgets, build green infrastructure, and begin large-scale building retrofitting for energy efficiency. 

Asad Rehman, People’s Party of Canada MP Candidate

Asad Rehman is the People’s Party of Canada’s (PPC) candidate for Scarborough—Rouge Park. His website says that he holds an MBA, has worked in “advertising marketing customer services,” and immigrated to Canada 14 years ago. 

According to his website, Rehman would get rid of the national carbon tax and instead tax chemical companies and heavy polluters to address pollution and other environmental issues. 

He is also against the recent Ontario lockdowns. As a party, the PPC would remove vaccination and COVID-19 testing requirements for federal employees, as well as other measures meant to increase vaccination in Canada. 

Overall, Rehman supports the PPC platform, which includes decreasing the number of immigrants who enter Canada in order to address the housing crisis, as well as decreasing taxes in a number of sectors. 

The Varsity has reached out to Rehman for comment.