Dharmasena Yakandawela is the federal NDP candidate in the Abbotsford riding.

Federal election 2021: Dharmasena Yakandawela – Abbotsford

Yakandawela is the NDP candidate for the local riding

  • Sep. 10, 2021 12:00 a.m.

The Abbotsford News asked candidates in the federal riding of Abbotsford three questions (each with a 100-word limit). The same questions were provided to candidates in the Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon riding and were published in the Sept. 2nd edition. For candidates in the Langley-Aldergrove riding (of which Abbotsford is a part), visit langleyadvancetimes.com.

1. Why are you running to be a Member of Parliament?

Canada is an ever-growing and diverse country in which anyone chasing a dream can achieve it. As a first-generation Canadian immigrant, I have experienced the hardships and difficulties of achieving this success and have stumbled and crawled my way to a position at which I am able to run to represent the people of Abbotsford. Through my experiences and challenges, I wish to speak up and represent the unrepresented and raise awareness for the unheard voices in our community and ensure that there are no forms of discrimination and that those in need receive sufficient support.

2. What skills and attributes do you have that would make you a good elected representative for your constituents?

As a former judge in Sri Lanka, and a practising immigration lawyer in British Columbia, I have an extensive history of seeing firsthand the difficulties faced by all types of people within our community. Furthermore, through my experience volunteering with local municipalities in the youth representation departments, I have been able to advocate firsthand for vulnerable youths. I have been able to help foster a supportive and accepting environment for young people within the community to ensure a future of success and prosperity free from the effects of external detrimental influences.

3. What are the two biggest issues for your constituents in Abbotsford and how will you and/or your party address them?

Some of the fundamental issues facing Abbotsford in recent years that have not been tended to are homelessness, affordable housing, and rising crime rates. With the crippling effects that the Coronavirus has had on the economy, the cost of living has gone up, while the support for everyday Canadians has not matched this increase. With the increase in living costs, there has not been sufficient support for Canadians who have struggled to keep up with the rapid rates of inflation. As such, it is imperative that this matter is addressed as, with it, many of the issues Abbotsford is faced with will recede in due time.

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