Candidates in Scarborough Guildwood riding for the Oct. 14 federal vote are primarily focussing on issues of crime and immigration.
John McKay, the riding’s Liberal incumbent, says he is concerned about the crime agenda being derailed and is worried people are getting agitated hearing about shootings.
“Scarborough generally needs a serious conversation about the most effective way of crime reduction,” says McKay, who was elected MP of this riding in 2004 and 2006.
“If it was up to me, I’d be putting some serious money into community associations.”
McKay’s Conservative opponent Chuck Konkel agrees crime is a prominent issue and he has the background to comment, having been a police officer for 30 years in places such as Hong Kong and Poland.
“As a police officer, believe me, I know the real world. It sure gives me a lot of credibility in things that matter to my community,” Konkel says. “We have to provide opportunities for young people.
“And opportunities are not just basketball courts.”
He says we have to have capital in areas where there will be a chance for the investment of training our children for the future.
Konkel says Scarborough-Guildwood needs a redefined sense of self and a sense of neighbourhood and community.
Sania Khan, the 23-year-old NDP candidate, says she believes in bringing communities together and says she would want to be able to have an open forum once a month to listen to the community.
“You actually have to start from the grassroots up and talk to the actual people in the community,” Khan says.
She has done a lot of community work in this riding with youth and senior groups, immigrant groups, and poverty groups.
Khan says there are a lot of new immigrants and they need support. She also says there are many unacceptable housing units in the area and she adds the community has just gotten worse.
“You go to certain areas in Scarborough-Guildwood and it’s so bad down there. [McKay] didn’t clean up parts of the areas that we needed,” Khan says. “It’s the young people that are going to come and bring the change.”
Other major issues the candidates are concerned about are the economy, the environment, and the area’s infrastructure — such as the Scarborough Bluffs and the parks.
Regarding the economy and the environment, McKay says we are all going to be paying more money for carbon and fossil fuels.
“The other parties are all going to price fossil fuels. Everybody’s pricing fossil fuels. That’s just the reality,” says McKay, as he comments on the Green Shift environmental plan.
Scarborough-Guildwood was created in 2004 and it has been a Liberal riding ever since.
The other candidates say it’s time for a change.
“I think it’s anybody’s game,” Khan says.