Baljit Gosal – Mayoral Candidate City of Brampton
How long have you been a Brampton Resident?
I’ve been a Brampton resident for 35 years, I raised my children here and started a business here.
What would you change and/or improve in Brampton?
I’d like Brampton to be a more competitive and attractive city, to do that the streets need to be safe, taxes need to be in check, and gridlock needs to be fixed.
Those are all priorities for me. Brampton has a lot of unrealized potential, but the first step to changing that has to be solving those three problems. They come up again and again and generate a lot of talk, but few results.
I want to bring back community police stations, and more neighbourhood policing. They made communities safer. I want Brampton to be a lean efficient city, and will have a line by line review of spending to find waste and inefficiency, and keep that process going with a permanent Auditor General. I want our city to finally realize the realities of current traffic flow, and plan roads that meet demand – not gridlocked as soon as they’re completed. And I want our city to focus on East-West traffic, which is more and more the direction it’s headed.
Once we’ve tackled that, there are so many ways to make our city a better place. I’ll foster a thriving arts and cultural scene by implementing a tax rebate for those who offer below-market rent to artists and cultural organizations. Our parks system is great, but I think we could do more, and make them more accessible and enticing to residents.
I could go on, but my priority is to make Brampton a destination and not another bedroom community with tract after tract of houses and nothing else.
If you receive a 10 million dollar grant for Brampton, what would you do with it and why?
Broadly speaking, I’d say that it should be invested into infrastructure projects – we always seem to be just behind the infrastructure that we need – but that seems like a vague answer for readers.
One single project I would invest in is community centres. There’s a huge gap in the number and proximity of community centres between older and newer neighbourhoods. That’s a big problem in a city with as many new neighbourhoods as Brampton. It’s also a problem because the newest neighbourhoods have the highest number of young families, who make up a large portion of users of community centres. I’d like to fill that gap. Moving forward, I will work with developers and other levels of government to make sure we anticipate the need, and build community centres quickly in new-build developments. It would make a huge difference in the lives of many Brampton residents, and make our city a better place to live.
What is your favorite place in Brampton and why?
I’d have to say Chinguacousy Park. With everything from traditional formal gardens and a greenhouse to track facilities, a ski hill, mini-golf, and, a BMX/skatepark it’s a place where all parts of the community come together. It also connects to two different trail systems that run far into neighbourhoods and integrate them to the park. It’s a great use of public space, and it’s an example of just the kind of outside-the-box thinking we need more of in this city.
Bal has lived in Brampton for 35 years. He and his wife raised three children here. He’s running because he loves Brampton – it’s his home. He’s from Brampton and for Brampton.
Bal knows the challenges facing small businesses, he started and grew a family business in Brampton. He works as an insurance broker in Brampton. He has been active in the Brampton Board of Trade, serving on its Marketing Committee.
From 2011 to 2015 Bal served as Member of Parliament for Bramalea-Gore-Malton, and as Minister of State for Sport in the Harper government. He was the longest serving Minister in that portfolio in Canadian history. He understands how to get results from the federal and provincial governments.
Bal is a strong believer in the value of community service and has been active in the Brampton community for many years. He also organized and coached youth soccer. He has served on the Peel Regional Police Services Board, the YMCA Regional Council Board, the Peel Children’s Aid Society, the City of Brampton Property Standards Committee, Brampton Civic Hospital Fundraising Committee, the Brampton Civic Hospital Foundation Sub-Committee, and many others.
Facebook Page: @ElectBalGosal