Student Vote: Meet Anita Anand

“Being on the political campaign trail has been one of the most enlightening experiences of my life,” says Liberal Candidate, Anita Anand. Anita is a scholar, law professor, researcher and mother of four. 

“The issues, that inspired me to run, relate to the families here in Oakville and their experiences,” she says. One of these issues is climate change, an issue she tells me is one of concern to the residents of Oakville. “As a mother of four children myself, I strongly believe in the environment and have been very passionate about advocating for a comprehensive plan on climate.” 

The Liberal’s platform is focused on building a stronger middle class however, this is not to say that the Liberal party wants to exclude those who are impoverished, Anita remarks. For example, their Child Benefit has lifted many out of poverty, so much of their platform is focused on the impoverished in society. Anand explains when they talk about the middle class they are focused on growing the economy and having more resources to support Canadian families, to get them into the workforce and succeed. “That’s why we cut taxes for the middle class in our first term and why we would do it again.” She explains that once Canadians get back to work, the economy begins to prosper and everybody benefits. 

The Liberal Platform on Indigenous relations it titled, “Building A Better Future With Indigenous Peoples.” I ask Anita what this future looks like. “Well to begin, we believe that there is no relationship that is more important to Canada than the relationship with Indigenous people. We have invested nearly 200 billion dollars, 87 long term drinking advisories have been lifted and we will continue to lift the rest, with the target year of 2021. That’s one of the main priorities of our party.” Additionally, her party is committed to implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and dedicating one billion dollars to the renovation of housing units on reserves. 

According to the CBC, the party’s election platform includes $9.3 billion in new spending next year, with the deficit rising to $27.4 billion. Given current trends, the Finance Department doesn’t predict a return to balanced budgets until at least 2040. I ask Anita if she thinks this is a responsible decision for Canada. “So, it is a myth to claim Liberal spending is higher under Trudeau’s government than past governments,” she says. “Our Net Debt to GDP ratio is 27.7 percent, that is the lowest of all the G7 countries…Compared to the Harper years, Canada’s debt is slightly lower. Furthermore, Canada has an AAA credit rating, from the top credit rating agencies in the world. Only Germany boasts a higher record.” These are the types of facts Anita thinks about, the debt relative to the social programs need for Canadians to prosper and succeed. “We have seen what cutting the deficit and balancing the books looks like in Ontario and it looks very difficult for people,” she adds. 

The Liberal party has promised to meet it’s 2030 emissions targets outlined in the Paris Agreement. Anand says they have a multi-pronged environmental policy to achieve these targets. “The price on pollution is not a carbon tax, it is the idea of carbon pricing which has been stated as the most effective lever to reduce carbon emissions at the speed that is still necessary.” Other actions include penalizing heavy emitters, corporations, and planting two billion trees. 

Anand mentions how she has been successful as a mother of four children while maintaining a law career for twenty years. Anita has taught at Western, York, U of T, Yale and has been internationally recognized in her field of study. “I have been committed to the people of Oakville and the betterment of our Oakville community by volunteering on Boards of Directors such as the Oakville Hospital Foundation and the LightHouse program for Grieving Children, Youth and their Families.” Anita says, “I have experience in all walks of life that will provide a solid basis in providing for our community in Ottawa as a member of parliament.”