Meena Wong: NDP offers practical solutions to Conservative problems

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      I believe the NDP is the party that best represents the families, the small business owners, and all Canadians in Vancouver South. This diverse riding deserves better representation than either the Conservatives or the Liberals can offer, which is why I am running in this federal election.

      I came to Canada from China in 1981 as an international student, and I stayed because Canada was a country that cared for its citizens, that opened its doors to new immigrants and refugees, and was a place that a young foreign woman felt welcome.

      As a woman, an immigrant, and a person of colour, I have first-hand experience with the many challenges immigrant families face.

      Over 60 percent of the residents in Vancouver South are immigrant Canadians, many of whom were educated outside Canada, yet it is a riding in which average annual family income lags more than $12,000 behind the national average. We need to improve our foreign credential recognition program so that highly-educated new Canadians have the same opportunities that all Canadians deserve.

      Immigrant families in Vancouver South also tell me that the family reunification program simply isn’t working for them. Grandparents are kept from their grandchildren, and families suffer through years of waiting and uncertainty. Under new Conservative limits, families can now expect to wait 13 years or more before their relatives can move to Canada.

      On the economic front, things aren’t much better.

      Both the Conservatives and the Liberals voted for the HST, despite some of their MPs saying they would vote against it. I have spoken to many small business owners in the riding, and most feel that the HST is killing business in Vancouver South. On the same block as our campaign office there are five empty storefronts, and many owners I spoke to are considering closing up shop.

      The HST has also increased the basic costs of running a household. Families are already struggling to make ends meet, and the added tax is affecting them deeply.

      In a city like Vancouver, where families are increasingly feeling the pressure of rising costs of living, Vancouver South residents feel the pinch all the more acutely. Conservative policies are not working for Vancouver South.

      We need real solutions for these very real problems. The NDP is the only party that has offered real opposition to the Conservative government. We have proposed practical solutions for struggling families: an affordable housing strategy, strong regulation of credit card interest rates, a reduction in small business taxes, improved retirement and pension options for seniors, faster recognition of foreign credentials, and fair reunification

      The Harper government has proven itself untrustworthy and more interested in giving breaks to big corporations than helping out Canadian families and small business. And the Liberals have had five years, and they have done little to oppose destructive Conservative policies, either voting with Harper or abstaining to avoid responsibility.

      As a member of the Vancouver South community, I see this upcoming election as an opportunity for the people in the riding to tell Ottawa that they are sick of Conservative scandals and broken promises, that the Liberals don’t offer a viable alternative, and that the NDP are the party that will work to fix Ottawa, and work towards real, practical solutions that will make life more affordable for Canadians.

      Meena Wong is the NDP candidate for Vancouver South.



      Ken Lawson

      Apr 8, 2011 at 5:47pm

      I will put it politely Meena Wong your not getting my Vote your NDP


      Apr 8, 2011 at 6:08pm

      Usual 2 point federal NDP platform:
      1. Everything that all other parties have done up til now is either corrupt or immoral or both.
      2. We will make everything free for everyone.


      Apr 8, 2011 at 6:36pm

      Meena Wong and the NDP do not represent me. They know little about economics, and if they were in power, would spend without restraint and destroy Canada's competitive edge by raising taxes, leading to job loss. They've ruined both BC and Ontario, so they will not get my vote.

      Steve Y

      Apr 8, 2011 at 6:45pm

      She has some good points but the family reunification thing is way off base. Supposedly the reason we have way too much immigration is that it lowers our average age to support our old people. Once you bring in everyone's grandparents, we end up with even more old people to support, old people that didn't contribute to medicare or OAS. If anything, we should send our old people to third world countries to be taken care of (a hip replacement in India costs 1/5th what it costs in Canada), not bring old people here from third world countries to be taken care of.

      If the purpose of immigration is not to lower the age of our population, what is the purpose? To lower everyone's wages or to keep housing costs artificially high?

      Stevie Lowe

      Apr 8, 2011 at 10:18pm

      The ethnic vote is not for manipulation. Jack Layton approved of the HST when it was implemented in Nova Scotia. The other side of his mouth then says it is not acceptable when it was introduced in BC and ON-he says he didn't like the way it was brought in. So now he's nagging at these provincial governments that the HST is a bad thing, when it was a good thing in Nova Scotia. A fact is fact: sale tax administration is the jurisdiction of the provincial governments. But the issue no longer belongs to any level of government federal or provincial. The issue is in the hands of British Columbians-we get the say now in June and we don't need some "ethnic" carpet bagging DIPPER to tell us how to vote and to try to convince us of who is really to blame for the Hated Sales Tax.

      Taxpayers R Us

      Apr 9, 2011 at 12:50am

      As an immigrant, Wong, I can easily tell you that you're completely full of it. My family moved here 2 years after I did, exactly when they could afford to come overseas. That was 1982, one year after you arrived.

      Dishonesty loses you votes in the digital age. Try and rewrite this spam with some truth and try again.

      In the meantime, have you completely cut your ties with China or are you someone that needs extra vetting as per the country's intelligence czar?


      Apr 9, 2011 at 10:29am

      Judging by the vitriol being spewed by commentators on this thread, it would seem that Conservatives in Vancouver South are running scared. And with good reason. Meena Wong and the NDP are running a strong campaign and are connecting with local residents.

      Immigrant #21334

      Apr 9, 2011 at 10:30am

      Consider the source:

      This woman has no credible work experience to speak of, only a volunteer position at a hospital and studies in Fine Arts and Electronic Arts. The rest is vague. How can she even have the arrogance and vanity to speak to economic policies, social policy, revisions in the healthcare system, international relations, and a whole host of other issues that she has no experience in? Asian voters (Chinese and South Asian) look for far more substance in their candidates. These voters value substance: Why do you think they work so hard to send their kids to school to become scientists, business people, lawyers and doctors?

      Dishonesty is Your Best Policy

      Apr 9, 2011 at 11:11am

      Jack Layton said that he didn't like the "timing" of the HST in BC. So it's not a matter of if the HST is put in, but a matter of when. Then this means that there will come a time when the HST should be imposed, not just now. He can't get his policies straight, then how can this candidate put it together? I've been unfortunate enough to hear this woman talk--like watching paint dry. She recites the HST script from memory and cannot seem to get off the broken record track to offer something original


      Apr 9, 2011 at 12:10pm

      Don't let the NDP HST bluster fool you. There are other reasons to consider as to why smaller businesses are having to shut their doors.

      1. Savings and investments were wiped out in the economic crisis, so people have less to work with as they try to rebuild their nest eggs.

      2. Cdn families are up to their necks in debt, even more so than American familes, so they are paying down bills more than they are spending.

      3. The aging population: they tend to spend less or spend differently when they retire.

      4. Larger businesses can offer better savings and selections to customers because they can.

      5. Small businesses were caught up in the credit crunch and couldn't get loans to support their operations.

      6. The higher value of the Cdn dollar has prompted a mass exodus of Cdn customers to the US.

      7. High gas taxes due to the BC carbon tax and other taxes built in.

      8. Stricter drunk driving enforcement discourages dinner with wine evenings.

      9. Rising food prices across the globe.

      Sure it's good politics to dumb down the issue and blame someone, but would that result in a democracy of ideas?