The North Delta Reporter sent all six candidates running to represent Delta in Parliament five questions submitted by readers to gauge their positions on some of the big issues for voters in the 2021 federal election. Candidates were given a limit of 1,250 words total to answer your questions. Here’s what independent candidate Hong Yan Pan had to say:
1) Why are you running to be Delta’s MP? Why should voters choose you to be their representative in Parliament?
Why I chose to run in this election is to find serving opportunities.
First of all, as a health-care profession, to address health care crisis issues, including the seniors’ care and how they were particularly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Also, another reason for me to run this election is that I strongly believe everyone’s life matters. As a visible minority, I want to stand up and say NO to any types of discrimination.
2) What are your top priorities if you are elected on Sept. 20?
My top priorities are diversity and inclusion, senior care, housing affordability, and environment protection.
My position statement is that any discrimination, including abusive bullying behaviour, is intolerable in this community and the nation. We need to build a community that provides a safe environment, not just physical safety but also psychological safety, in which residents thrive in, not just survive. We need to question how we are going to achieve that.
From a trauma informed care perspective, we really need to help each other, every member in the community, understand the importance of building a safe community for all. Within this community, we will learn how to be less judgmental, to be more understanding of each other’s lived experience.
We also need to pay attention to horizontal and lateral violence and systematic discrimination. By recognizing and accepting we have a big issue with systematic discrimination, issues related to gender identify and race for example, we can formulate action on the issue as a whole.
We need to start now. For example, provide education on mental health, anti-bullying, suicidal prevention, etc. Education starts at the elementary school level. Create channels to actively listen to victims’ voices and needs. Create team building activities to foster collaboration in the community.
3) The top issue raised by readers was housing affordability, both for owners and renters. If elected, what will you/your party do to bring down home prices, ensure fair home-buying availability and opportunity for Canadians, and make rents more affordable and commensurate with average wages and overall cost of living?
Housing is a basic need, just like health care. Generally speaking, it should not be used for profit.
Unfortunately, declining housing affordability has been causing so many negative issues.
Affordable housing is in desperate need, especially for seniors, special needs families, low-income families and single parents, etc. We need to lobby the politicians to address this issue, including obtaining funding through three level government collaboration. To facilitate this, all levels of government must work collaboratively alongside local non-profit organizations.
In addition to some parties’ platform strategies, I think the policy makers should look into these three issues:
First, needs to work with the developers to prevent flipping the apartment assignments, and to investigate this issue and set limits and restrictions accordingly.
Secondly, we need to work with mortgage providers to provide more support to local buyers to meet their basic needs.
Third, the government should give some funding to support a first-time buyer especially for the youth and young family. Maybe create an age-group community, for example an entire building or community for the 25 and 35 with the young kid’s family.
4) The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently warned that global temperature rise was reaching a “code red” for humanity, and an Angus Reid poll found climate change was the top issue identified by voters in driving their ballot choice this election. How do you/your party plan to address climate change?
From a nursing perspective, environment is one major factor of social determinants of health, which has a significant impact on health. I think it is very important that a leader knows personal limitations. I understand even though my passion is to protect the environment, I am not an expert in this field. I will heavily count on environmental field experts to provide strong high quality evidence to make policy in protecting the environment.
I am looking forward to collaboration opportunities with those experts in the environment field.
Federal government should collaborate with local governments to address the climate change issue, including reducing consumption of fossil oils and promoting more clean energy options.
Also, from a personal note, we should look into how to reduce creation of waste. For example, when creating campaign fliers, try not to use dark ink as background color.
Small things can add up with huge impact.
5) Do you support the proposed Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Expansion? Why/why not?
I share my Delta residents’ concerns and passion to protect the environment. I had been following the project closely until the public hearing in 2019. Due to the COVID pandemic, I have prioritized my focus on health care and senior care.
While I was sitting on the City of Delta Environment Advisory Committee back in Aug 2018, we had some discussion on the RBT 2 Project. Please see this link for the meeting details: https://delta.civicweb.net/document/181170
I have reviewed a few government documents on this project. For example, the “From the Minister of Environment and Climate Change to the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority re: Information Request.”
I appreciate that Indigenous consultation is included in the decision-making process.
I would examine all the best available high quality expert reports to make decisions for the best interest of the environment.
Election day is Monday, Sept. 20.