Fewer interpreters will be needed when all-candidates meetings are held in the riding of Burlington during the coming federal election campaign.
Emily Brown, the Conservative candidate, speaks Dutch, French and Polish, while Karina Gould, the incumbent Liberal, is fluent in French, German and Spanish.
Brown was born in Hagersville to a stay-at-home mom and a career military father. The mother of two grown sons, she now lives in Burlington with her husband.
She is a professor of mathematics at Sheridan College’s Pilon School of Business in Mississauga after obtaining her Master of Education degree from the University of Calgary. She also studied at the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin in Poland.
Gould was first elected in 2015 and re-elected in 2019. She is currently the Minister for International Development and previously served as Minister of Democratic Institutions.
“We have a minority government and there are a lot of things we haven’t been able to get done because quite frankly the Opposition has been holding them up,” she said.
Gould said making sure the government has it right in the fight against climate change is one of her priorities. Another is advancing early childhood learning.
NDP candidate Nick Page also has an impressive background. An autistic man, he has a Mathematics degree in Computer Science and Combinatorics & Optimization from the University of Waterloo. He has worked in data analysis, online content creation on Twitch, and is now doing tech consulting in the board game design industry.
His key issues include the need for a universal basic income and expanding the healthcare system to cover more areas such as dental, optometric, and pharmaceutical.
A political science graduate of McMaster University with a Masters in International Relations, Green Party candidate Christian Cullis has volunteered with activist organizations such as Extinction Rebellion, which focuses on increasing awareness and engagement by Canadian youth on voting and climate change.
“We’ve seen many records broken the last few years in Canada, none of them good – hottest temperatures, unprecedented numbers of forest fires, extreme storms and flooding, worsening air quality,” he said. “We can do so much better than we have on climate change, and I believe that’s what Burlingtonians want.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to call an election on Sunday for Sept. 20.
Gould defeated incumbent Conservative Mike Wallace by about 2,500 votes in 2015 and increased her plurality to 11,000 over Conservative candidate Jane Michael in 2019.
By DENIS GIBBONS