Sunil’s Values & Platform

Sunil’s Values & Platform

Let’s Get Real About the Real Issues Facing Albertans

Let’s get real about where I stand and how I can help.

As an emergency doctor and first responder, a veteran, a husband and father, an immigrant, and a proud Albertan, I bring a unique perspective not reflected in today’s Senate. In my lifetime, I have donated to several candidates and political parties – Liberal, Conservative and NDP. I have voted for all major parties depending on the platforms and issues at hand at the time.

I consider my political ideology to be Centrist or Moderate. I understand and appreciate the values of a social support system, and the need for ongoing fiscal responsibility. I am focused on finding solutions that benefit the most Albertans and Canadians.

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The Senate

Let’s get real about the Senate’s role.

There is often confusion, even amongst those running for Senate, over the Senate’s role, power and influence. Here are the facts:The Senate is one of the “checks and balances” for our Canadian democracy.

  • The Senate is a collection of individuals who: represent regional perspectives; bring a wealth of life and educational experiences to an important Canadian legislative body; and ensure that politics and ideology is minimally impacted upon prospective legislation for all Canadians.
  • The Senate can create legislation (on occasion), but for constitutional reasons, bills that appropriate public revenue or impose taxes cannot be introduced in the Upper Chamber.
  • Most of the work the Senate does involves scrutinizing, reviewing, amending proposed legislation from the Canadian House of Commons.
  • Each province has been granted a designated number of seats to allow proportional regional representation.
  • The Senate cannot make radical legislative or policy changes to meet the needs of a particular constituency.

Let’s get real about what the Senate needs.

Canadians are tired of partisanship, fixed ideology, and disrespect towards the “other side of the aisle” that diminish the value of our institutions. Now, more than ever before, we need a Senate that listens to opposing perspectives, finds a middle ground, and develops solutions that are acceptable to the majority regardless of party and ideology.

Let’s get real about the issues.

I bring life and educational experiences well beyond my current competitors on many national areas of importance that the Senate may encounter, including National Defence, Health, Transportation, Economics, and Small and Corporate Business Development.

I would be happy to speak with you about the issues most important to you. Here are a few that are top of mind for me as an Albertan and Canadian.

1. COVID-19

We have lived many months with COVID-19 impacting our collective lives in a variety of ways. It needs to be recognized that this pandemic has been devastating to Canadians in a variety of ways ranging from infection of individuals and their families, to the consequences of social isolation and missed schooling, to the negative economic impact upon both small and large businesses.

Here’s what Canada needs:

  • The Senate is well positioned to initiate and launch a roadshow to gather Canadian’s perspective on what our values and perspectives are to learn to live with COVID-19 into the next few years.
  • A national conversation is imperative to find a way forward.

2. The Economy

The economic disruption stemming from COVID-19 means we need to spend the next 2-5 years focused on recovery.

Here’s what Canada needs:

  • Government needs to promote innovation and facilitate a marketplace that will allow small and large businesses to grow.
  • Future legislation and future budget bills need to foster recovery and Senators need to have a grasp on economics and how business can be nurtured to improve people getting back to work in good jobs.

Alberta is filled with the entrepreneurial spirit of hard workers focused not only on energy but other high potential and thriving industries as well.

3. Climate Change

Climate Change is real. The Oil & Gas industry is an important economic driver of the current Alberta economy. These two things can be true at the same time.

Here’s what Canada needs:

  • We need to work towards a transition towards a green economy and this does not come cheap and nor does it occur instantaneously.
  • There needs to be investment in innovation and promotion of green strategies at all levels of government.
  • We will need the revenue from Oil & Gas for years to come to pay for the transition to a clean economy.
  • Tough decisions will need to be made by the governments (both provincially and federally) on how to meet targets while mitigating the impact on economic recovery post-COVID.

4. Veteran’s Health

We have Canadian Veterans from our recent peacekeeping, domestic and international operations, and the most recent War in Afghanistan: I have been looking after them for over 20 years. When someone sacrifices the comforts of home, experiences austere environments and encounters fear, death, and destruction for our country, they deserve to be looked after. I have some personal experience but more importantly, I have travelled the journey with our military survivors.

Here’s what Canada needs:

  • We need to support these individuals and their families as they function in uniform and transition to their civilian lives.
  • We need processes and programs in place to ensure our current and retired military are looked after. They deserve it.

5. First Responders

I have worked with First Responders – Fire, Police and EMS for over 20 years. I bear witness to some of the horrific experiences that they must deal with and bring home to their families at the end of their shift. I have lived it, with 25 years as a STARS and emergency physician at a very busy trauma centre. Here’s what Canada needs:
  • Like our military veterans, these dedicated individuals need champions within Ottawa that can tell their stories.
  • We need to build processes and programs at a national level that allow our First Responders to deal with their personal trauma, get the help they require and return to a position that allows them to move forward as member of their respective families.

6. Opioid Epidemic

Many of us have been impacted by the opioid epidemic in some way. The morbidity and mortality have been immense and the socioeconomic ramification upon Canadian families is huge.

Here’s what Canada needs:

  • A Parliamentary, Senate or preferably joint commission, to find a national way forward.
    • Such a commission needs to include an evidence-based approach to harm reduction strategies, rehabilitation approaches and ongoing support to reduce relapse to ongoing addictions.

7. National Physician and Nursing Licensure

From what we have experienced from the COVID-19 pandemic, we know that disasters occur at a moment’s notice. Currently, licensure for nurses and physicians is a provincial jurisdiction and in the hands of Provincial Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons or Nursing.

Here’s what Canada needs:

  • The recent pandemic highlights the need for portability of our health care teams to where the immediate need is based on the tragedy at hand. Our healthcare workers are prepared to rapidly redeploy to where the need is and shouldn’t be held back by administrative barriers.

8. Senior’s and Palliative Health Strategy

Our country is aging, and the rise of chronic disease is upon us. The significant increase of elderly, frail individuals being managed at home or assisted living is a reality for now and the future over the next 10 years. Additionally, for the chronically ill, end-of-life care is an increasingly important issue for families.

We have a variety of strategies in place that are very regionally based.

Here’s what Canadians need:

  • We need a national strategy on Geriatric Health to find solutions for issues like dementia management, increasing frailty, long term care (including private vs. public management), national home care strategies, and support for caregivers to optimize resource allocation and facilitate respite care.
  • It is imperative we have processes in place nationwide to help families and individuals to deal with palliative and end-of-life strategies.
  • We need to support national systems of care that range from primary palliative care strategies to facilitating natural death in settings families can live with. Our Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) processes need to be integrated into this spectrum of care. This is especially true as we deal with an aging population that are empowered to die with dignity.
  • We need to collaborate with experts on where to invest our tax dollars on these important issues.