Rozina Jaffer is the Liberal Party of Canada candidate in New Westminster-Burnaby.
Tell us about yourself:
I immigrated to Canada with my family as young child. I completed my early education in Ontario. I have been a resident of New Westminster for over five years. My academic credentials include a B.S.W from UBC and a J.D. Osgoode Hall law School. I practised as a criminal lawyer.
Describe your political experience – or your life experience that you think would make you a good member of Parliament?
I have spent over 10 years as a front line as a social worker in the medical field. Then I went on to complete my law degree worked as staff lawyer for legal aid Ontario. My experience working with individuals and families has enabled me to understand the complexity of the issues many individuals face and the barriers they must overcome. Poverty, addictions, racial discrimination, mental health and addictions. Working in the trenches opened my eyes to realities of people’s lives. I was often frustrated that society marginalized these individuals, and it is my resolve to fight for social justice.
Why are you running in the 2021 federal election? What’s your Number 1 priority?
We as a Canadians and more broadly as society face a multitude of challenges that must be understood and responded to. These include the climate crisis, the lack of affordable housing, the many economic challenges facing Canadians and the road to reconciliation with aboriginal peoples, and our place in the as Canadian global citizens. Just to name a few. How we respond to these challenges will define who we are as a people. We want to define a Canada that is inclusive and compassionate and just. I am running to give a voice to those who are marginalized.
Wildfires, heat waves and other extreme weather conditions are indicative that climate change is underway. True or false? What would your party do to slow climate change, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions?
Indeed! These are the consequences of ignoring the climate crisis as we have been guilty of so long! The Liberal party has a comprehensive plan for climate change. We believe Canadians deserve real action on climate change. Since 2015 the government has invested $100 billion towards climate action and clean growth. We have put a cost to pollution by way of the carbon tax. The liberal government is committed to training new community-based fire fighters to serve in their communities. The government is partnering with the private sector to innovate climate adaptations. The Liberals have a comprehensive climate change strategy.
Has the federal government done enough to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 calls to action? What action would your party take to implement all of the calls to action – and when?
The Liberal government is committed to the path of reconciliation and standing with the indigenous people. We have worked across governmental sectors and partners to impediment 80% of the Truth and conciliation reports to calls to action. There are deep social, health and economic disparities in Indigenous communities. The Liberal government is committed to addressing these disparities. The budget 2021 proposed $18 billion over the next years to address such issues and close the gap. We all need to step up and amplify the voices of indigenous peoples, dismantling systematic racism, discrimination, inequities and walking the road to reconciliation together.
What steps should be taken to ensure Canada is prepared for future pandemics? Overall, how would you rate the federal government’s response to COVID-19?
The pandemic was an extremely challenging time for any government to govern through. We had to tell people to stop working and shut down their livelihoods, we had moral obligation to support those who were impacted, and an economic imperative. I proud of how the government came to the assistance of Canadians at this critical time. We must be prepared for future pandemics. We must work closely with organizations such as the WHO. We must strengthen the pre-warning system both nationally and internationally. Canada should undertake a review its response to the pandemic. What we could have done better?
What makes your party’s leader the right person to serve as prime minister?
My party leader had the responsivity of governing in challenging times. He has proven himself. Most importantly he believes, and I agree, we should govern in the interests of all Canadians. My leader has a strong and comprehensive plan to move this country forward that includes ALL Canadians.
Do you have any hobbies?
I am the child of immigrant parents. When I was growing up there was little time to pursue hobbies and interests. I studied fulltime, I worked part time, and looked after my younger siblings. I focused on my academics and my family. However, I am an avid reader!
Where can voters find you? (website, social media, email, etc.)
I do have a website: voterozina.com