Q & A with Liberal candidate Mandeep Bhuller

Mandeep Bhuller

Mandeep Bhuller

Q1.  What have you done in the past three years to make you a good Member of Parliament?

A: “I’ve been contributing to this community through my participation with the arts council.” Bhuller is also a volunteer director with the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Youth Centre Society, and is a commissioner on the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows parks and leisure services commission. He’s also helped the Ridge Meadows Child Development Centre fundraise.

“I’ve always enjoyed my community and this is my only outlet to give back what I’m enjoying.”

 

Q2. What is the most pressing issue this election and how would you address it?

A: “I think the most pressing issue for people, it’s about people this election, is the economy. “How I plan to address that is by empowering people, through the support they need to be able to become more actively engaged in job-readiness skills.”

He cited the Liberal party’s Learning Passport, which promises $1,000 a year to students enrolled in college or university, as well as the Early Childhood Learning and Care Fund for child care.

 

Q3. Who are your top three inspirational heroes or leaders?

A: “My first extremely inspirational hero is (physicist and cosmologist) Stephen Hawking. My second would have to be Mohandas Gandhi and my third is a local hero to all of us and that is Rick Hansen. Stephen Hawking, (who has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s disease), is to me, the true picture of being able to do anything you choose to do. Nothing is impossible is the only message that I get from Stephen Hawking.”

Bhuller has spina bifida and has to use a wheelchair sometimes to get around. He used to drive, but is no longer able to.

“I’m hoping that this is the extent of it.” He’s adapted so he can continue to do two things: contribute to raising his family and “definitely contribute to my community, because I don’t know anything else. My community means everything. My wife has become and integral part of my community service.”

 

Q4: How will you improve transportation in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows?

A: “I will look to the local and provincial governments to advise me on what their constituents consider to be major priorities and I will advocate in Ottawa to secure the funds to meet the commitments.” He doesn’t favour any particular transportation project.

 

Q5: Education, the economy or social welfare – what takes priority for you and how would you deal with it?

A: “To me, all three are inter-related. To have a starting foundation you need those some of those social supports sometimes to give you a start in life, to give you a break. I believe in having those structures in place for people to be able to begin to make the effort to gain the skills to be able to contribute to the economy.

“Education is an ambition of many and it is my view and the party’s view that if you get the grades, you get to go.

“I think we need to get back to that. We need to not make fiscal excuses to avoid fundamental institutions, education and skills training. The only institutions that will allow people to become active in jobs and active in their economy.”