1. Candidate Bio:
Gurpreet Kaur Bains was born in Toronto and raised in Brampton by two working-class immigrant parents, alongside her younger brother and sister. Bains credits her grandparents for instilling in her the values of compassion, compromise, selfless community service, and always standing for what is true.
Growing up in Brampton, Bains attended Williams Parkway Senior Public School and North Park Secondary School. She then set her sights on Ryerson University, Nottingham Trent University and lastly the University of New Brunswick.
After graduating from Law School, Bains was determined to return to Brampton and begin her career as a lawyer. Bains takes great pride in having opened a small independent legal practice in 2014, employing many local residents and granting co-op and internship opportunities to local students.
Having spent her formative years in Brampton’s rapidly growing and diverse neighbourhoods, Bains has witnessed first hand the expansion of our city and the failure of councillors to manage and effectively support this growth. Bains understands what the needs of our city are, and has vision to create a better Brampton that matches the growth of our city, and that residents can be proud to call home.
Bains’s top priorities include:
• Crime Prevention and Community Safety
• Improving Road Safety and our Transit Network
• Economic Development and Job Attraction
• Good Governance
• Senior Support
• Youth-Focused Programming
Bains is confident that her love for Brampton and passion for advocacy, coupled with her breadth of knowledge and experience, will allow her to enact the change that is needed to bring Brampton to its fullest potential within City and Regional Council.
2. What are your three top priorities for Brampton?
1. Crime Prevention and Community Safety
The increase in crime and violence in Brampton has devastated far too many families this year and is disconcerting to our community at large. Once elected, I will work with the community and local law enforcement to provide youth with mentorship and education on anti-violence strategies, mental health, and skills development so that our youth are equipped to deal with confrontation and hardship.
2. Accountability and Transparency
Accountability and transparency are critical to good governance and they have been lacking in our Council. To build back civic trust and respect, I am committed to appointing an Independent Auditor General for the City of Brampton to regularly monitor and evaluate the city’s spending so residents know how their property taxes are being spent.
3. Voicing the Concerns of Youth, Seniors, and Vulnerable Groups
Often times, youth, seniors, and vulnerable groups (i.e. people with disabilities) are underrepresented in Council and they do not receive the support they need to thrive in our city. I want to invest in our youth by creating more youth-focused programming because they will be the future of Brampton. I want to ensure that seniors have access to the support they need to live a good quality of life because they have given much of themselves to their families and community. I want to represent vulnerable groups so that they have as much opportunity and resources as other residents of Brampton.
3. What is one major council decision from the previous (2014-2018) term that you agree with?
One major council decision that I agree with is to partner with Ryerson University. Considering that Brampton is the 9th largest city in the country and the 2nd fastest growing, it only makes sense for us to have a university here. Ryerson is an innovative university that is always pushing the envelope. I think it’s a great match for the young, creative demographic of Brampton. The fact that cybersecurity will be a specialized program offered at our campus will add a lot of value to Brampton as it is an emerging sector, and the only other university that offers a specialized cybersecurity program in the country is in New Brunswick. This is a decision that I believe is taking Brampton in a progressive direction.
4. What is one major council decision from the previous (2014-2018) term that you disagree with?
One major council decision that I disagree with is the vote against the HMLRT. I do not think it was a wise decision fiscally or for the overall development of our city. Our Council voted against a provincially funded LRT through Brampton’s downtown core. Our city lost over $386 million because Council did not agree with the route selected and failed to negotiate with the province for modifications. The Council then decided to spend $4.4 million on environmental assessments to study alternate routes which ultimately lead back to the Brampton GO station.
Moreover, with Ryerson University opening a campus in downtown Brampton, the demand for quick, reliable transit that connects to neighbouring cities will be at its highest and we, as a city, are not be prepared for it. Because of this decision, Brampton residents, students, and those who wish to visit our city, will have to wait at least another decade before functional transit is a reality in our city.
5. Are there any other ideas from other cities that you would like to see replicated in Brampton?
Vancouver has introduced a reverse-mortgage system for seniors that allows them to refrain from paying property taxes until they decide to sell their house or they have passed. At the time either of those occur, the person will have to pay the taxes and any additional interest that was accumulated. The interest rate on reverse mortgages are usually higher than other mortgages so at the time of selling or passing it could impede on the amount of money the individual, or their beneficiaries could receive.
However, the advantage of this type of mortgage is that it would allow seniors who often find it difficult to live solely on their pension, to live a higher quality of life. Before pushing this forward as a bill, I would consult with council members and Brampton seniors to ensure that a system like this would be in the best interests of our city and seniors.
6. What are your top transportation priorities to ease congestion and gridlock in the city of Brampton and connections to other communities?
To ease congestion and gridlock in Brampton, we need to modernize our traffic lights system. I would like to implement smart lights in Brampton that coordinate to keep traffic moving while also monitoring speeding and providing data on how we can continuously improve on our traffic systems. I also intend on creating a strong transit network with more frequent routes that will not only combat traffic, but also better connect the people who work, live, and invest in our city.
7. What are your thoughts on the Brampton 2040 Vision and how should the city proceed with the vision?
The Brampton 2040 vision has provided me with a new perspective for what Brampton could be within the next 20 years. I’m so excited to be a part of that change and implement some of the key transformations proposed, especially the thriving arts scene and everything connected. In the past few years, the most successful people who have come out of our city have been artists. We have a lot of local talent. Through facilitating art-focused programs and events I think Brampton has the potential to be the next major arts hub in the GTA.
A hallmark of every metropolitan city, is having transit networks that effectively connect people across the city, to neighbouring cities, and major places of interest. Focusing on better connectivity and transit in Brampton will do wonders for the overall development of the city.
8. What is your position on the city’s finances and how would you tackle demands for services and infrastructure renewal?
The city needs to provide more transparency when it comes to expenditures. That’s why I would like to appoint an independent auditor general to monitor the city’s spending once I’m elected. To address the demand for services, evidence-based decisions need to be made on how to better serve Brampton residents.
In regards to infrastructure renewal, consultations with experts in the field will be made immediately after I’m elected to ensure that we improve the current infrastructure in Brampton so that we are able to support our rapidly growing population ensure Brampton is future ready.
9. What are your thoughts on how the city/region should handle the alleged uptick of spontaneous youth violence and crime in the city?
I think we need to focus on the development of our youth so that situations do not escalate to the point of violence. I would like to work with various community leaders like Brampton Fire and Emergency Services, paramedics, and law enforcement to create programs for our youth to explain the importance of mental health and give them practical strategies to deal with situations of confrontation in a healthy manner. By using the strengths of our community to mentor our youth, I believe we can greatly reduce the amount of youth violence and crime in our city.
10. Why should voters vote for you?
This election presents the significant opportunity to Brampton voters to elect a council that will actually work for them. I’m competent, qualified, and ready to take on the responsibilities of being your next Regional Councillor for Wards 2 & 6. Having my own legal practice for the past four years has prepared me to advocate for my constituents responsibly. I intend to use this position to advocate for groups who are traditionally underrepresented in Council such as youth, seniors, and vulnerable groups. I promise to remain accessible to my constituents, to listen to their concerns, and help them as much as I can.
I also want to include Brampton residents in the decision-making process by communicating with them through various media platforms and hosting town halls so that future changes directly benefit the people who live here.
I want Brampton to thrive and grow to its fullest potential. The more we are able to support our residents, the more they will be able to contribute to the city with their talents and resources, contributing to a thriving local economy and community.
I have the vision and determination to create a better Brampton where the needs of Brampton residents come first. If you would like to see meaningful change come to this city, I hope I can count on your support!
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