Lisa Patel, Liberal Party 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?
I am an entrepreneur, real estate professional and social activist. Scarborough is my home. I grew up in this riding and I love seeing the residents of this community thrive.
As a third-generation entrepreneur, I am a born problem-solver. I aim to bring about positive change that will not only benefit our community, but its future generations. I believe my education from Toronto Metropolitan University in Public Administration & Governance coupled with my professional experience as an entrepreneur across real estate, finance, and board management demonstrates my leadership abilities and pursuit of lifelong learning.
I also prioritize and enjoy being of service to the community. In 2015, I was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee for my 15-plus years of mentorship with Futurpreneur Canada helping young people achieve their startup goals. I’ve been a volunteer with Big Sisters of Canada, Toronto Harbourfront Festival, the Land Division Board, and a director of a local Board of Trade. I even hosted an environmental program on Rogers TV.
As the immediate past President of the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TREBB) and founder of the Property Princess Team, now known as the Lisa Patel Real Estate Team for over 13 years, I serve commercial and residential clients across the GTA. I am confident my professional experience, tenacity and passion for this riding and the people who live in it, will help me be a strong voice for Scarborough Southwest.
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?
I believe the issues I can have the most impact on is housing affordability. My background in real estate, along with my years as an entrepreneur and upbringing with a family that owned and operated more than 18 different businesses provides me the knowledge, experience and resilience to navigate and be a strong advocate for Scarborough Southwest.
I was the president of TREBB. As a director there for many years, I am able to understand the complexities and can articulate the issues with stakeholders. It is so important for the Scarborough Southwest community to be taken seriously on these matters at Queen’s Park.
From my entrepreneurial real-estate projects to being a volunteer on several steering committees including OREA, the Ontario Real Estate Association, and CREA, the Canadian Real Estate Association, and the BlackNorth Initiative Homeownership Bridge Program, I am able to tackle the housing crisis, head-on. In my first 100 days of office, I will work to secure the building of 138,000 affordable homes and to bring back rent control to all homes.
QUESTION 3 – What do you consider to be the top local issue in Scarborough Southwest and the top provincial issue in this election?
Scarborough Southwest faces an affordability crisis, particularly with housing and transportation. Scarborough hospitals are also in dire need of funding. This, coupled with the lack of support and concern for the living standards of seniors are grave concerns I have with the current government.
I will cut transit fares to $1 a ride everywhere in Ontario. I will add a Durham-Scarborough BRT line connecting to Oshawa, and build an Eglinton East LRT from Kennedy to Malvern.
An additional 40,000 seniors will have access to home care in the next four years, and I will boost pensions by up to $1,000 annually for seniors who need it, while ensuring health workers across the board receive a long overdue wage increase.
Province-wide, mental health is a high priority, particularly among teens. My plan includes hiring 1000 mental health professionals for schools, 10,000 teachers, and capping class sizes at 20.
I will also enhance and expand Scarborough Southwest’s business community.
I believe climate change poses a major threat to future generations. I aim to cut Ontario’s carbon pollution in half by 2030, build five provincial parks, and protect and expand the Greenbelt.
I also plan to launch a strengthened communication system between our residents and their elected officials. This will not only create more engagement, but foster accountability.