a historic opportunity for residents of peel region: vote ndp on october 19

In the upcoming federal election, Peel residents have an opportunity to make a real difference for ourselves, our neighbours, and all of Canada. We can support a platform aimed at supporting working people, preserving and expanding public healthcare, restoring our democracy, and protecting our environment. We can vote NDP.

NDP candidates are running in all Peel ridings. For me, these five candidates stand out as stellar choices to represent our region.

Rosemary Keenan, running in Brampton Centre, is a longtime leader of the Peel Poverty Action Group and the Peel Sierra Club. She has had a long career as a teacher, school principal, activist, and community organizer. In other words, she's been working to improve life for working people in Peel for decades. As a member of a federal NDP government, she'll have a greater reach and more opportunity to make a difference.

Adaoma Patterson, running in Brampton West, is a long-time advocate for working and low-income people, and for public services. She's had a lead role in the Peel Poverty Reduction Strategy, and has worked (both as staff and committed volunteer) for key agencies like Ontario Works, United Way, YMCA, and the Caribbean Association of Peel.

Progressive people in my own riding, Mississauga Centre, have an opportunity to create real change by voting for Farheen Khan. Farheen has managed a women's shelter, and has raised more than $2,000,000 for progressive causes in Peel, and another $1,000,000 for international relief.

Like almost everyone I know in Peel, Farheen grew up in an immigrant household. Her story will be familiar to many: after immigrating to Canada, her parents’ credentials were not recognized, and they were forced to work multiple jobs just to survive. Farheen's experience working at a young age, experiencing both poverty and violence, led her to choose a life of community service.

In Mississauga Malton, where I work, NDP candidate Dianne Douglas has worked and volunteered for many organizations that improve life for residents of Malton. On my drive to work, I pass a huge billboard picturing the Liberal candidate, who wears the turban and beard that is a frequent sight in Malton. But what good is a turban and beard if you support the corporate status quo? Malton needs an MP who champions public service and healthy communities. That is Dianne Douglas.

Peel residents should be familiar with Michelle Bilek, who is running in Mississauga Erin Mills. Michelle is an educator, a community activist, an advocate for women, children, and low-income and homeless people. As a young person, Michelle experienced homelessness, and worked her way through two university degrees. Among her activities, she is a member of Peel’s Regional Diversity Roundtable and of the advisory board of the Homelessness Partnership Strategy.

These are not the only NDP candidates running in Peel. If you live in Mississauga, Brampton, or Caledon, you can scroll through this list of NDP candidates running in Ontario to find your candidate.

In the past, most of Peel Region had been represented in Parliament by Liberal MPs. That all changed in 2011, when the Liberal Party suffered its historic collapse, and most Peel ridings flipped to the Harper Conservatives. But those dreadful results had a silver lining, and it was orange. In 2011, the New Democratic Party won historic levels of support in Peel. On October 19, 2015, we have the opportunity to strengthen that support, and elect NDP MPs throughout the region.

Unlike Conservatives, who believe in making life easy for banks and oil companies, the NDP will build and strengthen public support so that all working people have an opportunity, not only to survive, but to thrive.

The NDP is the only party that gets all its support from working people and labour unions, the only party not supported by major corporations. That tells us something right there. The Conservatives are spending five times as much as the NDP in this election. How should our election be decided: by voters, or by money?

If you're not sure where you vote, or you're unsure if you're registered to vote, you can check here: Elections Canada.

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