Keith McCrady, NDP candidate for Scarborough Southwest, answers four questions from Beach Metro Community News regarding this month’s federal election.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: candidates were instructed to keep their answers to approximately 150 words, and some of the responses have been edited to keep them as close as possible to the agreed word count.)
QUESTION 1: Please tell our readers a little bit about yourself and why you decided to run in this election?
I am Ojibway and Cree, I’m a parent of four children and I live in the Cliffside neighbourhood of the riding with my youngest daughter. I have also been a foster parent as a young adult. With your support, I’m hoping to make history by becoming Toronto’s first Indigenous Member of Parliament.
For 10 years I worked at Native Child and Family Services of Toronto. Currently I am the Executive Director of the 2-Spirited People of the 1st Nations working on education and public health initiatives to support a strong two-spirit community.
I’m running for the NDP because I believe a strong society is one where we support one another and nobody is left behind. I’ve spent my life standing up for people, and I’m ready to continue this work as your next MP.
QUESTION 2: Are you in favour of a national ban on semi-automatic assault rifles and handguns? Why or why not?
There’s no compelling reason for any Torontonian to own a handgun or a military-style assault weapon. The NDP is listening to mayors across Canada and to gun violence advocates, and will give municipalities the power to ban handguns.
Any attempt to deal with gun and gang violence in our communities must address the root causes. Young people left behind because of poverty, racial discrimination, gaps in mental health services and a lack of good job opportunities need someone on their side. We’ll take action to address the deeper issues at the heart of violence in our communities. Meanwhile, limiting access to assault weapons and giving municipalities the power to ban handguns is an immediate step we can take to get weapons off our streets.
QUESTION 3: What do you think is the issue in your riding that you can have the most impact on if you are elected MP?
Truth and Reconciliation. My favourite part of meeting new people is discovering new cultures, religions and values. The differences and similarities remind me how we are all related. As a First Nations man who has been active working alongside many different communities, I have modelled and shared meaningful ways to work together across communities and cultures based on this shared understanding.
While knocking on doors many residents have talked to me about the importance of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission. I’ve heard from that they feel having Indigenous leadership is necessary, and believe we are ready to address Truth and Reconciliation with bravery and a relentless determination to heal together. I’ll work tirelessly to address the tragic injustices in child welfare, education and health that have impacted our community.
QUESTION 4: What do you think are the two most important national issues in this election, and why are you and your party the best ones to deal with these issues?
Climate crisis – the world we stand on is connected in every way, in everything we do, in every moment of our lives. All of this is at risk because of leaders inability to take the action needed to protect our planet. The NDP has a bold action plan on the environment. Our Green New Deal will create 300,000 good jobs for a clean energy future. We’ll retrofit homes and save families money, electrify transit, and put more zero emissions vehicles on the road while holding big polluters accountable.
Housing – having a decent place to live should be a human right, but too many people can’t afford a decent place to live. The Liberals have neglected housing for too long. The NDP has a plan to build 500,000 quality, affordable housing units over 10 years in partnership with provinces and cities.