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January 2023

Brampton needs a second voice in the Ontario cabinet

June 17, 2022 12:46 AM

Sohan Singh: 
Father Kramer once said, “We believe that only government has the capacity--not to mention the political and moral responsibility--to promote the general welfare.” When thinking of Brampton, I am often reminded of this quote. While it is the government of the day that should look after the interests of its people, it is not always too bad for citizens to raise their just and balanced voices. Here I am taking the opportunity to talk about the need for Brampton to have its rightful representation in the Ontario cabinet.According to Pew Research Center survey of 18 countries that host half of the world’s migrants, the public opinion is in favour of immigrants as they are viewed as a strength rather than a burden. However, studies have also demonstrated that cities with a majority immigrant population often lack social services, employment opportunities, and health care networks compared to those where immigrants are not a majority. Looking from this perspective, Brampton is no exception.I was not amused when an article from New Canadian Media putting a spotlight on the problems Brampton is faced with was published in many Canadian news outlets as part of the Canadian Press Local Journalism Initiative. This article says if any other Canadian city had experienced a population growth of 13% that Brampton experienced in the last decade, it would have been a cause of optimism and a catalyst for housing, public transit and health care improvements. But this has not been the case in Brampton. Housing remains low-density and inadequate to accommodate newcomers, transportation is at risk of being overwhelmed, and the city’s health-care facilities had been overwhelmed long before COVID-19. As a result, immigrants in Brampton are at risk of homelessness, isolation, and health care negligence.So, where is the solution to it? I feel that recent results of the Ontario election have thrown an excellent opportunity for the Doug Ford government to seize the moment to transform Brampton from a low-growth city to a harbour of futuristic growth. Now is also the chance for him to build his political legacy. One way to do good to the town is to provide a representation to a Brampton youth leader in the cabinet, someone who can think outside the box.One face that comes to mind is Hardeep Singh Grewal, the winner of Brampton East riding. His win is a unique political gift to the Provincial Conservatives because Hardeep defeated Gurratan Singh of NDP, brother of the Federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh. But for Hardeep’s fresh approach to political activism, his ability to connect with diverse communities and his media-savvy approach, this riding would have been in the pocket of the NDP. The Provincial Conservatives could have ill afforded to lose the riding to the NDP.It will bode well for Doug Ford to benefit from the fresh ideas that the newest MPP, such as Hardeep Singh Grewal, can bring to his cabinet table. Doing so will not only sow the seeds of growth and prosperity through political action for the ninth most populous city in Canada, but it will also help Doug Ford create the political legacy that most political leaders aspire for. With a population of over 600,000, primarily immigrants, Brampton deserves two ministerial representations in the cabinet. Prabhmeet Sarkaria has already proven his mettle, and these twosomes can be immensely good for Brampton.
Dr. Sohan Singh 
President Calderstone
Seniors Club

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