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Independent Candidate Response

Elias ishak

Elias Ishak

Burnaby Deer Lake

1.What is your party’s position on addressing homelessness in British Columbia?

I will urge our government to end homelessness, not with tax dollars, but with debt-free BC dollars, as part of my broader monetary reform agenda. My position is that addressing homelessness is one of the most urgent humanitarian crises facing British Columbia, on a par with the opioid crisis. It is a peculiarly unbearable condition to witness and, as with other challenges, I am not one to accept it as  “just the way things are.” My strategy is to pioneer ways of swiftly assisting the homeless, from right when the tragedy begins, by arranging and funding short-term transitional housing, to then keeping them off the streets by arranging a place for them to work and live. My platform would also intend to alleviate the risk of homelessness that many sheltered but low-income people face, in various original ways.

2.  Does your party plan to establish a provincial housing strategy to address the growing affordable housing crisis in British Columbia? Please provide an explanation and key actions that your party would take.

The key actions I would take to end the housing affordability crisis, as well as the many challenges of homelessness, all of which would be funded by tax-free, debtfree BC dollars, are,

  • first, to defend our housing market from the inflationary impact of fractional reserve banking, by outlawing the practice with such a currency;
  • second, instituting a universal basic income for full-time employed workers;
  • third, grandfathering anyone who has ever benefited from a homeowner’s grant at their current address, re-granting eligibility if they have lost it due to assessment increases, and prevent any further losses of the grant for such people due to future increases;
  • fourth, to restrict non-citizen purchase of BC real estate, so that non-citizens could henceforth only own one condo at a time (non-retroactive), and so that detached dwellings and all other residential properties could only be purchased by permanent residents (non-retroactive), prioritizing access and affordability for British Columbians;
  • fifth, to establish a voluntary homelessness eradication program whereby BC farmers or others who are willing and capable can exchange food and board for work, to be administered by the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation;
  • sixth, to subsidize or construct short-term transitional housing somewhere in the Lower Mainland;
  • seventh, to subsidize housing cost for low-income but full-time employed workers;
  • eighth, to propose provincial tax-exemptions for low-income elderly citizens who are long-time occupants at their current address. They’ve already paid their fair share and should be left alone in old age;
  • ninth, to subsidize massive family housing projects, to encourage procreation, family and new communities;
  • tenth, to promote free time, culture, friendship and community, resulting in naturally occurring support networks, which means $0 childcare;
  • eleventh, to completely fund vocational public schooling, making it free, to preserve hope by offering a ladder of mobility out of poverty;
  • twelfth, to completely fund public transportation, making it free;
  • thirteenth, to encourage local economic prosperity and growth, creating many new jobs;
  • fourteenth, to increase the minimum wage to a value greater than at least $20 by reducing inflation by means of spending these productive, non-inflationary, tax-free, debtfree BC dollars into existence;
  • fifteenth, by quashing tenancy or even strata rules discriminating against pets or children;
  • sixteenth, to issue marriage grants to new couples;
  • seventeenth, fully fund short-term and long-term care for seniors without healthy family support networks; and so on, in due course, perhaps with modifications, if the BC dollar is created.

3. What is your party’s plan to establish a poverty reduction program in BC?

My poverty reduction program would be to create as many opportunities as possible, principally by reforming our schooling and financial systems, which, if achieved, would end our slavery to the establishment and completely unleash human material, spiritual and technological potential. I do not care to merely reduce poverty; if people like myself ran the government, poverty would soon cease to exist.

4. If elected, what resources would your party allocate to increase the supply of affordable and core need housing stock in British Columbia, the Lower Mainland and specifically to Burnaby?

My platform, by limiting foreign investment, would cool the market, thereby encouraging, from now on, the construction of such affordable housing stock without even any other government intervention. My ideal government, though, would directly subsidize and therefore coordinate large housing projects with BC dollars, as previously mentioned.

5. If elected, what resources would your party allocate to prevent the loss of existing affordable housing from conversions, demolitions or serious deterioration?

I have previously mentioned what resources I would allocate to housing, but with respect to the rapid gutting of rental stock in Burnaby, there is a variety of forces combining to create the current situation. I oppose the wave of planned demolitions in my own unique way, since I am not against highrises in and of themselves. It is worth noting that the NDP-led municipal government is certainly the most significant factor.

Mr. Corrigan is the Director of the GVRD, so his party is, consequently, highly devoted to the mentality of Metro Vancouver. The root of what I prefer to call “displacements” is that the BCA is closely connected to many such oriented organizations, which have their own distinct ideologies that are obviously trumping local concerns. Metro Vancouver, to explain what I mean, adopted a “regional growth strategy,” what it titled the “Livable Region Strategic Plan,” in order to implement a UN treaty on so-called „sustainable development,‟ called „Agenda 21,‟ which was resolved in 1992. Nearly everything else Corrigan and the BCA do, from this perspective, is completely predictable, and his rezoning and urban planning is no different.

Just to illustrate how closely connected the BCA is to such entities, which, again, have their own commitments and modes of thinking, this is according to the BurnabyNOW: “Burnaby Coun. Sav Dhaliwal was elected to the Union of B.C. Municipalities’ executive as a Metro Vancouver area representative at its conference recently. Dhaliwal is the immediate past-president of the B.C. NDP and the Lower Mainland Local Government Association. He also serves as a director of the Metro Vancouver board and is a member of two committees with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.” Mr. Corrigan himself is a past Director of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, is a representative to the International Centre for Sustainable Cities (a private tax-exempt foundation), and so on. Also according to the BurnabyNOW: “Dhaliwal’s travel expenses totalled $11,377, largely due to his role as a director with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM). He attended an FCM conference in Saskatoon ($2,827) and board meetings in Laval ($1,955) and Ottawa ($2,045). His claims included travel to meetings for the Columbia Institute, a Vancouver-based organization focused on building inclusive, sustainable communities, in Harrison Hot Springs ($632), the Lower Mainland Local Government Association (LMLGA) conference in Whistler ($1,077) and the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention in Victoria ($2,842).” The Columbia Institute is yet another private tax-exempt foundation. The report continues listing expenses, noting that Anne Kang, Coun. Paul McDonell, and Coun. Pietro Calendino have all attended meetings with the Columbia Institute.

The findings of an investigative committee in the 50s, called the Reece Committee, are a good thing to study when considering how detached the aims of such tax-exempt foundations can be from the values and interests of ordinary people. At the very least, the BCA will eagerly meet with the members of such private tax-exempt foundations, but refrain from meeting with local housing advocates and incorporating their concerns into planning. This is what lead to the recent protests at Corrigan‟s office, as well as Kang‟s.

Now then, to elaborate. Corrigan has been so rigid because he has been devoted to a version of „sustainability‟ promoted by such organizations. Since Metrotown is the transportation and economic hub of Burnaby, he wants all the new highrises immediately beside it, and end of story. If he were less brainwashed and less of a pawn of such tax-exempt foundations, as well as of the organizations which they obviously have influenced, he would, of course, have been more considerate of the local interests of low-income people, who are already here.

That is to say, with respect to planning, it would have been a better idea to, at least for now, have re-zoneed around Royal Oak Station, just a few blocks away. Instead, currently existing low-rises closer to Metrotown were and are still being re-zoned, and detached homes around Royal Oak Station were merely converted to low-rises and town homes. What should happen, and should have happened, was the preservation of existing concentrations of affordable housing, while new highrise developments should have been zoned into places where they would have had the least negative impact on rental stock, or none at all.

Within the current context of the housing bubble and the other circumstances boiling our housing market, we should always consider the interests of people who are already here, not just those of developers. … But the ideology of Corrigan and his party, along with bribery by developers, has guided their irresponsible planning, which has negatively impacted the greatest number of people possible, rather than the lowest number, which should always be the goal, if not nobody at all. There was plenty of land in Burnaby to start off with, but they chose to eradicate the lowest-income and most vulnerable people in Burnaby.

The planning of Corrigan and the BCA is so dedicated to being terrible that I do not really know what I could do about it as an MLA, other than to proceed with my provincial platform. But at the very least, I would be openly outspoken on this issue, in solidarity with the many who are scheduled to be swiftly displaced. Even though I already hate politics, I probably wouldn‟t mind also using my position to influence municipal politics.

When my family moved here from Lebanon as refugees of the Lebanese civil war, my single mom rented and raised my sisters and I in a low-rise apartment building here in Burnaby, and I feel personally offended that the current trend of city planning would make Burnaby a less welcoming place for a diverse and lowincome immigrant population. Honestly.

I like the idea of Burnaby continuing to be a welcoming place for a multicultural immigrant demographic, and I just do not see that happening without affordable rental stock. I do not care about the UN‟s Agenda 21 treaty or the rigid, undemocratic „sustainable development‟ models promoted by it and other similarly inclined organizations, and would advocate for what is best for everyone. I would not control the power of zoning, of course, but Anne Kang did have a say in that and, at the very least, I have offered my candidacy, and so she will now lose, preventing her from further infecting our district, let alone provincial politics, with the pathetic ideology of her corrupt and brainwashed party.

6. If elected what strategies and resources would your party commit to the prevention of homelessness amongst those at risk such as low income earners, youth exiting the foster care system?

I have, above, already answered part of this question, but with respect to foster children, not only would they have access to short-term transitional housing, they would also be eligible for the charitable housing program, right away, which I have no doubt in my mind I can succeed in having the Liberals vote in favor of (since they will probably be winning, again). British Columbians are a charitable and prosperous people, and there would likely be many willing to take in foster youth as well as others at risk of homelessness.

7. What strategies and resources would your party commit to assist low income earners to overcome barriers such as to improved employment, better health and resource access?

I have, above, already answered part of this question, but with respect to health, my health plan is simply the best for low-income earners, as it would cover visits to naturopaths, so rather than expecting just a prescription to go buy some symptom-treating Big Pharma poison pills, they would learn how to eat more healthfully without necessarily spending any more money. Naturopaths are generally much more educated than allopathic doctors when it comes to the role in health of nutrition and diet and other environmental factors, which everyone should know. Preventative health is so important.

8. If elected, what resources would your party allocate to ensure people without homes have access to appropriate emergency shelter and supports in their home community?

All the resources I would allocate have been outlined above, but I would also wish to cooperate with the Society, in the meantime, to immediately help the homeless in Burnaby. I wrote a letter to the NOW, a while ago, stating that I would be open to using our constituency office in order to coordinate with you and aid you in your selfless and admirable work.

9. If elected, what resources will your party commit to Burnaby to address the challenges for Burnaby citizens who are dealing with homelessness?

The key actions, as outlined in my answer to the second question, include many resources which would address the many challenges the homeless citizens of Burnaby face.

10. If elected, what will your party do to ensure that short term/transitional housing is established in Burnaby specifically for people who are dealing with homelessness? What time frame?

As I mentioned above, I am in favor of printing BC dollars and establishing shortterm/transitional housing somewhere in the Lower Mainland, reachable by free public transportation. The time frame is as soon as possible but, until my monetary reform is accomplished, if we cannot save money in other areas, I would indeed prioritize transitional housing over many other government expenditures. That, combined with my voluntary housing program, would probably eradicate most of the long-term homelessness in Burnaby, right off the bat.