MBE: How did your journey towards the Willowdale constituency go?
MP Ali Ehsassi: There were initially four people including myself who worked hard to campaign themselves as the liberal candidate in the area. 2100 people showed up to vote for the next liberal candidate and I was luckily able to win the nomination. This was a result of two years of hard work which included a lot of knocking on doors and speaking to people about the issues they were facing. The main issues that kept coming up were the economy, the state of businesses, and lack of investment and transit and transportation issues.
MBE: What attracted you towards the Liberal party and politics?
MP Ali Ehsassi: At the time the Liberal party was not in a great place and was in third place. To fix this we had a very interesting leadership process where we changed our approach towards the selection of leaders. The constitution of the party was changed and everyone from coast to coast could have a say as to who they wanted to see as leader of the party. A number of talented individuals stepped up for this and eventually our current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was able to win the leadership by a huge margin. The reason I personally was attracted to getting involved was that I saw the Prime Minister had brought with him a new vision and new abilities. From day one his focus was heavily on the middle class and his general tone was one that was not prevalent in Canadian politics.
MBE: As a community leader can you please shed light on the importance of education in this day and age, especially for the youth of the Canada?
MP Ali Ehsassi: As a country it is our duty to realize that there is a very competitive world market at the time and the best thing we can do for our youth is to further push for value added education. In certain aspects we have a lot to be proud of for example our city of Toronto produces more secondary education qualified engineers than any other city in North America. The government certainly understands the importance of education and is continually striving to push for further improvements and innovations in education which will not only produce the best thinkers but will also give people the ability to turn their big ideas into reality.
MBE:In Toronto small and medium businesses have been struggling in recent years, what steps can be taken to further support these businesses?
MP Ali Ehsassi: This is certainly a complex issue but it is an issue that the government takes very seriously. Small and medium size businesses are the backbone of our economy and it is through these businesses that a lot of important new ideas and innovations are coming up regularly. It is important to make sure Canadian consumers do better through policies such as tax cuts and an increase in benefits. As a result 9 out of 10 Canadians now have more money in their pockets to spend in small and medium size businesses. Another very significant thing is that we are very focused on innovation. As a country we know how to improve our standard of living and our overall economy, we need innovation and to do this we need to make it easier and easier for smaller businesses to succeed.
MBE: To end this interview can you please give a message for our magazine and its readers?
MP Ali Ehsassi: I just want to say I am extremely impressed by the quality of your publication and it is amazing to see how well your magazine has done in the first two years. The magazine is clearly appealing to viewers because it has content that readers are interested in and the content that is relevant for them. Keep up the amazing work and I wish you all the best of luck.