My name is Alok Mukherjee. My wife, Arun, and I have lived in Toronto-St Paul’s riding for almost 35 years. We have raised our son, built our careers and grown old here. We have been active participants in the changing life of this community. And we have been members and supporters of the NDP for over three decades.
I seek your support for my nomination as the NDP candidate from Toronto-St Paul’s in the coming parliamentary elections. We need a strong progressive voice in Ottawa. With a life spent in public service and a record of concrete results, I want to work with you to be that voice. I know we can wage a strong campaign.
This summer, I finished my term as a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Ryerson and settled down to work on the follow-up to my book with Tim Harper, Excessive Force: Toronto’s Fight to Reform City Policing. When colleagues and friends approached me to run, I listened. With all semblance of responsible government provincially and federally crumbling before our eyes, and encouraged by a broad range of endorsements for the nomination which includes Joe Mihevc, Michele Landsberg etc. the decision almost made itself, Arun and I agreed that I would give it all I’ve got.
The record of empty pledges, unkept promises and half-measures in Ottawa and Queen’s Park underscored the urgency. We are now a society marked by a huge income disparity. We are less fair, less just and less equal. We must honour treaty rights and end the unconscionable suffering of the Indigenous Peoples to restore their trust. We need to face the accelerating dangers of climate change and transition to a green economy through the Green New Deal.
Arun and I believe in taking personal responsibility. We have never owned a car and always depended on bicycles and public transit. We were among the first to sign up for WISE-West Toronto Initiative for Solar Energy, and continue to rely on solar panels. We have integrated into each day’s work and play, the profound need for consultation and reconciliation that engages as a sovereign nation the indigenous peoples whose rights and needs have been back-burnered to the point of children being poisoned by the water they drink. I want to help make this planet livable in body, mind and soul for my beloved grandchildren and to do it NOW.
We must move from talk to walk collectively through strong legislation, regulation, innovation, incentives and consequences by our governments. Each commitment is possible only when it goes hand in hand with ensuring the basics for all Canadians.
• Health care that respects our dignity and responds to our needs
• Affordable food and affordable housing, the two most significant determinants of health
• Intelligent development of public transit infrastructure
• Jobs, jobs, jobs, in the green and tech sectors to get us moving again
• And above all, a community of communities that settles its historical accounts with the indigenous peoples and moves forward to respect all people, a community of people who truly care for each other
I have been a public servant for most of my life, with a record of achieving results: as a researcher, writer and educator on human rights, equity, and organizational change; as a key advisor on the Toronto Board of Education’s foundational anti-racism and equity policies; as Acting Chief Commissioner and Vice Chair of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, as a Member of the Ontario Civilian Commission on Police Services and, more recently, Chair of the Toronto Police Services Board. I understand how governments work (and don’t work).
I feel the urgency deeply and, should you place your trust in me, I am ready to hit the ground running.
Thank you for your support.