Sara Badiei is looking to flip red the riding of Port Moody-Coquitlam, an electoral district long held by outgoing NDP MP Fin Donnelly.
This is Badiei first run at political office.
Who is Sara Badiei?
Sara Badiei In Profile
If optimism is still possible in Canada’s fraught and discordant Parliament, then Sara Badiei, Liberal candidate for Port Moody-Coquitlam, will fit right in.
The 37-year-old mother of a two-year-old daughter has optimism in spades.
But she isn’t naive variety, preferring to do her own research and bringing her own charts and graphs to her interview with the Tri-City News.
“I love it,” says Badiei of her propensity to crunch numbers, having used her skills as an energy specialist in conflict-zone countries promoting solar power infrastructure.
Her own family's story of coming to Canada as refugees from war-torn Afghanistan, via Iran and Pakistan, and her support of the Liberal government’s welcome of 30,000 Syrian refugees, solidified her aim to run for government, she said,
“I felt so proud as a refugee, that meant a lot," she said. "This is Canada. This is what we are. This is what defines us.”
Having worked in conflict zones, Badiei is no stranger to navigating challenging situations, so when The Tri-City News asked about leader Justin Trudeau painting his face brown and black in costume, the fallout from the SNC-Lavalin affair, which resulted in Jodi Wilson-Raybould being ousted from caucus, and her party’s support for and purchase of, the Trans Mountain pipeline, as well as deficit spending, she didn't shy from responding.
On the face-painting scandal, Badiei said it was a “cheap shot” and doesn’t change her perception of Trudeau because of what he’s done for refugees. “He’s saved people’s lives,” she said.
SNC-Lavalin was a “perfect storm of someone who wore two hats at a time when a particular rule was new and it went out of the trusted group that it needed to be inside.”
Trans Mountain needs to proceed to help pay for social programs and is more environmentally sound than transporting oil by rail, especially with the the Liberals' $1.5-billion Oceans Protection Plan in place. As well, clean tech, supported by more than $1 billion in federal funding, and other programs, such as electric vehicle incentives, will eventually reduce Canada’s reliance on oil, she said.
“The country is on target to meeting its Paris accord targets," Badiei said. “and potentially go beyond.
On the doorstep, Badiei said she hears support for the Canada Child Benefit, which she said pumps $5 million into the riding annually to support families with children and said the Liberals’ National Housing Strategy will deal with affordability issues, including mortgage help on a new home. These programs are boosting the economy, she said, and make deficit spending possible because the country's debt to GDP (gross domestic product) ratio is among the lowest among G7 nations.
“That’s why we’ve got such good numbers on unemployment and on economic growth, as opposed to providing credits to people who can already pay for it and that money likely gets parked in a bank account,” she said.
As for whether the Liberals can win her riding after coming in second to NDP MP Fin Donnelly in 2015, Badiei is once again optimistic, saying she believes people will be voting strategically this time around.
“People are telling me, ‘I want an MP who brings my voice to the decision-making table.'”
Sara Badiei in 3 minutes
Learn more about Badiei
- Liberal Sara Badiei launches election bid for Port Moody-Coquitlam
- Port Moody-Coquitlam candidates spar of over climate, guns and deficits
- Tri-City candidates seek politician, group endorsements
- Tri-Cities a battleground in federal election, say experts
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