By Saifullah Muhammad
I had the opportunity to interview Mr Raj Saini, the Member of Parliament for Kitchener Center. This is the first interview of my journalism career in Canada. MP Saini was well-known as a pharmacist and an award-winning businessman for nearly 20 years in Kitchener. His success as a small business owner comes from his focus on helping people achieve their health goals using evidence-based protocols to enable healing and encourage healthy lifestyles.
During the first conversation of the interview, Mr Saini shared that about his life and a brief background that he always kept track of the events and studied political events in particular. He studied Pharmacy. He was always involved politically but never come in front. “In 2014, some people came up to me and asked maybe I should consider running for the election,” Mr Saini said. “I found that it was the right time and place for me to serve more. What motivated me was very simple that I was very fortunate to come to Canada at the very young age. I have been able to accomplish that I wanted to come and wanted to do something for my community. Something above and beyond the pharmacy, my motivation was simply to serve. I consider myself as a servant and I am serving a broader community ultimately the country.”
“I was very fortunate to come to Canada at the very young age. I have been able to accomplish that I want to come and want to do something for my community and I consider myself as servant” —MP Raj Saini
When asked about anyone, who might inspire him to come into politics, Mr Saini said, “One of the people that inspired me to come to the politics is my mentor Dr John English. Dr English was a professor for the Political Science at the University of Waterloo, an MP from 1993 to 1997. He was also the one who wrote the biography on Pierre Trudeau. He was one of the people encouraged me to come to the politics.”
Mr Saini was elected for the first time, when I wanted to know about the advantages and challenges confronted during the election campaign, he mentioned “it was really a different kind of campaign. It was a campaign of positive politics and it was also a campaign of that every voice is heard. It was a campaign of reengaging the whole world. Actually, it was challenging because I had to talk to as many as people. For me, I was very fortunate that I had a lot of energetic volunteers. They motivated me to keep inspired and different levels people such as younger, older and professional came to my campaign to support. I was very humble that too many people wanted me to succeed. Being positive and optimistic, I knew that our country needed to change to a new direction and I wanted to be a part of the team.”
When asked why is he liked by the people so much? His response was very clear, being a pharmacist for more than 20 years, he believes that really helps him because people got to see him in a different way. They saw him as a healthcare professional and pharmacist. Many people came to the pharmacy and saw the job he did.
“The City of Kitchener is going right through the changes,“ Mr Saini said. “Among the all infrastructure development, we are first in the country. We have a lot of Hi-tech companies. We have major educational institutions where we have pharmacy and medical school level. I find that Kitchener is a great trajectory because we are now tracking so many people. We have rich vibrant community and we really attract so many people from diverse communities.”
“I am single and that makes a lot easier for me to work,” Mr Saini mentioned when asked about family maintenance and relationship with them. “My parents and extended family live in Mississauga. I always try to see them. I always try to maintain the family relationship as it is very important. I have many good friends here. I love my job and serving people is my passion.”
Mr Saini recently announced the Youth Council in the constituency to help the young people. “That was an initiative started by Prime Minister,” Mr Saini stated. “I just want to know that what kinds of challenges youth are facing. If you want to serve public life, you have to listen to the people you want to serve. I think sometimes, we don’t listen to the young people. That is very important because they have their own dream, aspiration and ambition.”
“We are very fortunate to live this country. We have a responsibility to do our part to build for future generation. Young people are so talented, connected and technologically advanced. They could change the face of this country they want to. In my generation, youth are the leaders of tomorrow. I say that they are leaders of today and we need their leadership, capacity and ability to build a better society as well as the country.” — MP Raj Saini
“We have a strong plan and we are trying to improve the environment and want to build infrastructures,” Mr Saini said. “We want people faster and more efficiently and to make sure to improve schools and higher institutions. I made an announcement. We also engaged with the provincial government in partnership with them creating two ways between Kitchener and Toronto. We also developed child benefit plan which is very effective. Nine out of ten families get that benefit which eliminates poverty.”