Age: 46 years
Occupation: Small Business Owner
How long have you lived in Cambridge?
More than 10 years.
Do you reside in the ward/city you are running in?
Yes, close to my business.
Why are you running in this election?
Ward 8 needs a change; we don’t have any diverse candidates in the city of Cambridge. As of today, Ward 8 represents a diverse community. Our city believes in diversity and inclusion to respect each and every culture, religion or ethical values system.
What qualifies you to represent your ward?
I have lived with my family for many many years in Ward 8. I know what concerns my constituents are facing and those issues are still not resolved and we are disappointed. I am an avid volunteer and take a strong stand on behalf of my Ward 8 constituents. I assure the Ward 8 community, enough is enough. It is time to change.
Why should people vote for you?
I am a father of two beautiful kids and a small business in the city of Cambridge for the last 10 years. As a restaurant owner, we faced many lockdowns and pandemic challenges, but at the same time my community is not immune to the opioid crisis, mental illness, homelessness, housing crisis, and now my ward, city and country is facing post pandemic inflation. Ward 8 and the city need a strong candidate who believes in community, compassion and commitment.
What do you see as the main issue facing residents of the ward?
• Not immune to the Opioid Crisis
• Mental Illness
• Housing crisis
• Schools and Religious areas' safety first.
• Speed breaker at Saginaw Parkway and Can-Amera Pky – stunt driving not following the signs.
What do you see as the main issue facing residents of Cambridge on a broader scale?
- Affordable homes
- Improved frequency of the public transit
- Schools and Religious areas' safety first.
- Need roundabout at can- Amera and Frankline to reduce traffic.
- Improved parks – Provide facilities to our seniors and kids.
- Improved parking facility.
- Increase snow removal frequencies time of winter.
What is the most important things you to see changed in Cambridge?
Our city is more diverse than before due to an increase in population. The city should have knowledge about various cultural activities to be more inclusive of every community. Our city is known as a Bee City and it needs more "colourful flowers" for better growth and development.
What services need to be improved in Cambridge?
Food Bank – The pandemic taught us lots of new lessons, and showed us we need to provide more support for food banks and shelters like The Bridges.
Homelessness – if someone needs food in Ward 8 and they are unable to get to the food bank in downtown Cambridge, we need to provide more accessible options.
Mental health support – We need more parks, yoga facilities, and community well-being programs.
Traffic – After the pandemic, there was a high-density population that migrated from the GTA to Cambridge. The city and region need to improve roads and transit to accommodate these new residents.
Is Cambridge growing too fast, just the right amount, or not fast enough?
I would say not fast enough. Cambridge faces very bad traffic issues because the city and region hasn't kept up to growth. The region and city should take an opportunity and provide all kinds of facilities for a better economy.
What can be done at the local level about the rising cost of housing?
The prime minister recently visited our region and announced $1.2 billion to build around 17,000 affordable homes, including rent to own racilities, to reduce the housing crisis. Ward 8 has long been a place where low-income, diverse housing housing options are available to serve a population of multifamily and single-family homes; places like like 75 Angleock Drive and 50 Mullins Crescent. With new development occurring, my focus is to advocate for more affordable low-income housing on the old Saginaw golf course land. The city needs more housing to reduce the cost of housing.
What can be done at the local level about the homelessness issue?
No one was born homeless but because of circumstances they are left without a place to call home. We need more emergency shelters, with access to food, clothes and medical facilities.
How do we make Cambridge an even better city to live in?
As I mentioned before, our city is known as a Bee City. In Agriculture, the honey bee is a beneficial Insect. We can set an example across Canada of how we can live together like beautiful and colourful flowers. When I have gone door knocking to meet my constituents, every other door represents a different nationality. That’s the beauty of my city. We believed in diversity and inclusion. We should encourage food festivals, cultural events, traditional dances, and many more activities to make Cambridge an even better city.
To learn more about Vandan, visit the following links: