NDP Toronto Centre candidate Brian Chang expresses empathy with residents in the riding

“I live in this riding and I understand just how hard folks in Toronto Centre are working to make ends meet.”

Brian Chang's campaign office that resides in Toronto Centre.
Campaign office of Brian Chang. (Photo by Michael Phoon, Toronto Observer)

The 2019 federal election is close, and the discussion is focused more on the politicians’ pasts rather than their party’s platform. However, rookie candidate Brian Chang remains positive when he is out canvassing around the Toronto.

Chang is a labour union professional who is a candidate for the New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP) in the Toronto Centre riding. He is a first-time candidate in the upcoming federal election.

Chang’s meet-and-greets have made an impression upon students like Brendan Lim, 24, at the University of Toronto – St. George Campus. Lim met the candidate while Chang was canvassing in Regent Park on Friday, Oct. 18.

“He was pretty clear on his arguments. It is pretty cool that he has events like this around the area,” Lim said.

Chang is aware of issues that affect not just Canada but the people of the community in his home riding.

“Every day I see the reality of the opioid crisis on our sidewalks and community spaces. Many of my friends have been priced out of the Village,” Chang said in an interview done through email. “I am not a homeowner. I understand what it is like to work soul-crushing cycles of contract to contract work, and I have been paying out of pocket for my healthcare for years.”

Chang believes we can resolving current issues such as increasing workers’ rights by following the NDP’s worker solidarity platform. It includes creating 300,000 new green economy jobs, ordering contract and part-time workers to be given the same rights and privileges as full-time workers, and presenting a $15 federal minimum wage.

Chang worked as a campaign organizer for labour unions like the Public Service Alliance of Canada and the Ontario Public Service Employees Union.

His former colleague, Denise Hampden, an education officer for the Public Service Alliance of Canada, calls Chang’s candidacy “phenomenal, energetic.” She believes he represents workers who strive to develop themselves.

“I can say Brian really understands the importance of living in a community where we are not all the same,” Hampden said in an interview. “And where in your workplace or with workers, we must stick up for each other. Standing up for workers is what unions are all about, standing up for workers is what I’m all about, standing up for workers is what Brian is all about.”

Chang, a member of the LGBTQ2s+ community, advocates for human rights and justice, which includes pushing for the prohibition of carding everywhere in Canada. He supports legislation to ban conversion therapy.

“I am an out gay man and have fought for the rights of the LGBTQ2S+ community for years. I vow to continue fighting. I will work to shine a light on LGBTQ2S+ issues. I promise to defend our communities against the far-right.”

When advocating for these communities, Chang noted that public figures who advocate to obstruct these rights and justice will be held accountable for their actions.

“I commit to holding other public officials, including police, to account for their action and lack of action.”

Despite the latest polls showing the Liberal Party of Canada leading in Toronto Centre, Chang challenged voters to remember how the government deals with the rights of Indigenous children.

“Most recently, Justin Trudeau made the decision to take Indigenous children to court, rather than compensating these children for being unfairly taken from their homes on-reserve and put into the child welfare system,” Chang said. “These are deeply shameful decisions by Justin Trudeau and the Liberals.”

“More than anything though, I am ready to show up – every day. Not just around election time.”

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Posted: Oct 20 2019 5:54 pm
Filed under: News