Sunday 19 August 2018
Black Ottawa Scene caught up Member of Parliament for Nepean, Hon Chandra Arya on Sunday 19 August during a community fun day hosted by him at the Chapman Mills Water Park in Nepean. Below is our conversation with the honourable member together with pics from the event.
How are you today sir?
Fine thank you
What is the purpose of this event today?
This is an opportunity for the Nepean community of all different backgrounds . they can come with their families and spend one day together.
How does that further the mandate and the mission and all the promises Justin Trudeau and the Liberals made during the last election?
We have done substantially more on our promises. For example, we have also delivered the middle class tax cuts. We increased the tax on the top one per cent, those making more than 200 thousand dollars per year but we cut taxes for the middle class We have increased Canada child benefits which are tax free and we are increasing it every single year. Nine out of ten families are getting benefits from that. For most things we promised, we have already delivered.
This last week we had reports of a major disagreement between Canada and Saudi Arabia on the issue of human rights in that country, and it seems to be hurting Canada a lot more than Saudi Arabia. How do you assess how the Canadian government is dealing with this conflict?
We will always stand for human rights everywhere no matter what part of the world that is. It is not hurting Canada so much because we have people who want to come into Canada from so many different countries, Last year Canada educated many medical graduates, 147 of them did their residency. Sometimes we have to take the heat, we have to stand for what is right and that is what we have done . /we are so proud of doing that.
A couple of days ago former Canadian External Affairs minister, John Baird criticized the Canadian government for its stand on the Saudi conflict. What is your take on this, given that Mr. Baird was a very important player in the Harper cabinet since his words carry a lot of weight, even though he is now a private citizen and a lobbyist for one of the multinational corporations?
I absolutely disagree with him. Whatever the motivation, we observe that most Canadians disagree with what Mr. Baird said
Now that we have a Progressive Conservative government in Ontario. Doug Ford seems intent on reversing a lot of the policies introduced by the Federal government such as the carbon tax and so on . What do you make of this and how do you think the federal government should relate to the Ontario government in order to make sure that the agenda that you promised during the last election will be carried out event though you have a different party in power in the province?
It is quite unfortunate about some of the things the provincial government has done. We disagree on that . However our commitment will continue. We are taking measures to deliver on the climate change that we had promised. And we are working on our Federal government programs and they will continue to go ahead and the provinces can’t stop us from doing what we had promised.
But Ontario being the richest province and the most populous province, described as the economic engine of Canada , how are you going to address that because they seem to have the power and the means to scuttle whatever you are planning. How are you going to tackle that?
I disagree with you on that because things are very clear, some issues are provincial, some are federal. On the federal side, we have all the plans to tackle climate change and put a price on carbon pollution
Now that you are having this barbecue, which is really very nice on a very nice hot day, do you think this is going to translate into votes for you at the next election?
That is not the question at all. This is an opportunity for people of all backgrounds all ethnicities, all different people to come together in one single spot and spend the day together. Look around you, there are different people here, the francophone community, the Black, community, the Muslim community, we have white Canadians here , we have people from all different walks of life, in one single spot together. The kids are playing together and the parents are enjoying their time together. This is an opportunity we created and I am so proud of this.
Finally, do you have a message for readers of Black Ottawa Scene?
Absolutely. They know that we are committed to diversity , not just diversity per se. We have worked hard to increase diversity. When they say diversity, people used to think of gender diversity. I have personally worked hard on Bill C35 to make sure that when we mention diversity we also include visible minorities in addition to women, people with disabilities, indigenous people , these are the kind of things we are working on and will continue to work on that.
Thank you so much sir.
All photos copyright Black Ottawa Scene