New council candidate comes forward

District of Mission: Shazad Shah, candidate for council

A relatively new Mission resident is stepping up to run in this year’s municipal election.

Shazad Shah, 34, moved to Mission three years ago to be closer to his family after finishing a bachelor of science degree at the University of Northern B.C.

He has volunteered with the Mission Arts Council and Mission Association for Community Living’s Illuminaria event, and now he is ready to advance his community involvement.

This week Shah launched a website (shazadshah.ca) and a Facebook page to announce his candidacy. This is Shah’s first attempt for a position in public office, but he has been a part of previous provincial and federal election campaigns.

Shah was born in Trinidad and spent many years growing up in New Westminster. He currently works as an education assistant in the Abbotsford School District, and believes a seat on council is a “good bridge between my current job and my future.”

Shah told The Record he would like to make the world a better place by bringing people together, and listening to them.

“We need the community to interact positively and grow together,” said Shah, who believes citizens under the age of 40 are not being represented on council.

Mission’s current mayor and council are knowledgeable on managing issues based on their age category, according to Shah. “That’s like saying if the only tool I have is a hammer, all the problems will seem like nails … How do you get different representation?”

Shah has been learning about municipal governance over the past few months and watching Mission council in action.

“I’ve been speaking to people, going over council agendas and minutes, and attended some council meetings,” said Shah. “I’m disappointed with what I’ve seen. There was a lot of aggressive language used. In a democratic process, everyone should have equal right to say what they want.”

During the election campaign, Shah wants to focus on neighbourhood development, public safety, and community, recreation and culture. He hopes to engage young voters and get people talking about the issues.

His goal is to bring people together.

Shah will begin his door-knocking campaign soon, but will not be hosting any public events until the fall after nominations open on Sept. 30. Election day is Nov. 15.

For more information about Shah, visit his Facebook page or shazadshah.ca.

Mayor Ted Adlem and fellow Citizens for Responsible Municipal Government (CMRG) slate members Couns. Larry Nundal and Dave Hensman have also announced they will run for re-election. CMRG has not yet revealed other candidates who may run. Coun. Jenny Stevens, who broke from the slate earlier this year along with Couns. Tony Luck and Jeff Jewell, has also said she will run. Luck has told The Record he will be putting his name forward in November’s election, but has not decided yet whether he will seek the mayor’s seat or a councillor chair.

Former MLA and mayor Randy Hawes has also discussed a possible run for the mayor’s seat, although no announcement has been made yet.