By Shruti Ganapathy
TORONTO: Shusmita Sharma, aspirant for the Progressive Conservative nomination for Markham-Unionville captured hearts while garnering support from the local community for her nomination.
At an event `Politics and Dholak/Sangeet: An Evening of Cultural Music and Women from the Progressive Conservative Party’ in Markham, Sharma shared her ideas and thoughts with members of the party and the community.
“Under the Liberal regime, life has become more difficult for hard-working Ontarians. We need to address deepening concerns around issues such as rapidly increasing hydro rates, health care, and focus on making our communities stronger. I want to ensure these issues are addressed and resolved so that we all thrive in a better Ontario under the leadership of the PC Party caucus,” said Sharma.
A big admirer of PC leader Patrick Brown, Sharma said her values and approach to life have been influenced by her grandmother, who worked as a Municipal Corporator in Mumbai and her doctor mother.
Sharma has a strong background in volunteering and has worked at grassroots level with seniors and youth to better understand the issues that affect them on a day-to-day basis. She said she is committed to improving health care, creating jobs and putting money back in the hands of hardworking Ontarians.
She is also the founder of SAYAA (South Asian Young Adult Association), an organization that aims to enrich the youth and provide them with a sense of purpose. Over the years, she has raised more than $200,000 for the Scarborough Hospital Foundation, Hospital for Sick Children, Markham Stouffville Hospital, the Heart and Stroke Foundation and other organizations.
“Among the many concerns I share with Patrick Brown, it’s safe to say the top most is hydro rates. Since 2009, under the Liberal regime, the province has given away $6 billion in surplus electricity. I fully support the mandate of our Ontario PC leader Patrick Brown that we have to find solutions to this looming dilemma that the Liberals have put us in. Escalating hydro rates are affecting hard-working Ontarians, impoverishing homeowners and driving businesses out of the province. This is also adversely affecting our provinces debt and job rates,” stated Sharma.
She also addressed issues pertaining to the healthcare system, long wait times, eHealth budgets as well as collective community involvement. She urged the importance of getting the youth involved and inspiring them to become tomorrow’s decision makers. Finally, she addressed the challenges faced by traditional urban planning methods and measures that would be needed to rectify that.
“A good place to start, as my mother would say, is to build and sustain trust. I wrap up now by asking you to start by trusting me to be your representative,” she said to a round of applause.
The event was attended by a number of politicians and Progressive Conservative members, including former Senator Asha Seth, Sandra Larmour, President, Ontario PC Women in Politics and PC candidate Sabrina Zuniga, among others. There were also a number of prominent members of the public present.