Provincial Election 2022: Scarborough Southwest candidate Doly Begum, NDP, answers our questions

Doly Begum is the NDP candidate for Scarborough Southwest in the June 2 provincial election.

Doly Begum, NDP candidate for Scarborough Southwest, answers three questions from Beach Metro Community News regarding the June 2 provincial election.

(EDITOR’S NOTE:  Candidates were instructed to keep their answers to approximately 200 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 are running in this election?

Scarborough is my home – I have lived in this community all my life. The people I served as the Member of Provincial Parliament are my neighbours, friends, teachers – and over the past four years, this community has become my family.

I grew up in Scarborough and attended SATEC @ W A Porter Collegiate Institute. I am a graduate of University of Toronto and have a Master’s in Development, Administration & Planning from University College London.

Four years ago, I ran with the hope of building a province that served our seniors, children, youth, new immigrants, people living with disabilities, and working class families. Since being elected, I have worked to ensure our community has strong representation in Queen’s Park, held the government accountable, and ensured equitable public health resources for Scarborough Southwest during the pandemic.

I know that there is more work to be done here in our community, especially as we recover from the pandemic. This is why I am running for re-election, so I can continue the work to make sure Scarborough is no longer left behind.

QUESTION 2: What do you think is the issue in your riding that you can have the most impact on if you are elected MPP?

As the MPP for the last four years, I have been committed to making sure that Scarborough’s voice is represented in Queen’s Park.

During the pandemic, when Scarborough’s healthcare system was stretched thin, adequate vaccines were not supplied to our community, our local businesses were left without support – I worked with the community to not only hold our government accountable but also close these gaps.

Scarborough has been neglected for decades from governments and representatives who fail to prioritize our needs. I have worked tirelessly to ensure that Scarborough’s priorities were taken to Queen’s Park.

I held weekly office hours, local town halls, and made our community office accessible and open to everyone in Scarborough Southwest.

We created issue-specific advisory groups with local advocates and community members to highlight Scarborough Southwest’s policy priorities in the Legislature, including issues of road safety, environmental protection, local business support, and youth engagement.

If re-elected, I hope to continue making sure that Scarborough has effective local representation that is accountable to the community and its needs.

QUESTION 3 – What do you consider to be the top local issue in Scarborough Southwest and the top provincial issue in this election?

Some of my top local and provincial priorities for this election include:

• Improving healthcare access for Scarborough, ensuring that funding commitments for healthcare and hospital infrastructure projects are met
• Fixing the broken long-term care and home care system in our province so our seniors can live a dignified, healthy, and safe life
• Protecting the local green spaces and commitment to climate solutions
• Affordable homes and increased access to social housing
• Fixing our schools – ensuring adequate funding for the repair backlog in our public schools, smaller class sizes, and support for students, teachers, and education workers
• Increasing access to quality and affordable childcare
• Addressing the affordability crisis in our community – including the rising cost of living

This is an important election, especially after the past two-and-a-half years of the pandemic showed us the many ways in which our healthcare, education, and public services systems are broken. Healthcare is one of the top provincial issues this election, including seniors’ care and the strain on healthcare human resources, specifically the dire need for more nurses, doctors, and personal support workers.

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