Six questions with Rami Maassarani, candidate for Sydenham District

Rami Maassarani, candidate for the Sydenham District in the 2022 City of Kingston municipal election. Submitted photo.

Editorial note:

Across the province, Ontarians are getting ready to cast their ballots in every city, town, and county as the 2022 Municipal Election is fast approaching. With election day on Monday, Oct. 24, 2022, Kingstonist has reached out to all candidates within the City of Kingston to create profiles allowing voters to find a brief overview of each candidate in one place. As response comes in, more and more candidate profiles will be added here, which you can access through our Municipal Election 2022 section (with the tab on the homepage), or through our ‘Candidate overview landing page.’

With 45 candidates in total for Kingston City Council alone – and with only one district acclaimed (Countryside District will once again be represented by Gary Oosterhof) and six districts without an incumbent – our goal is to provide as much information as possible leading up to the elections. Thus, we will endeavour to collect response from as many Kingston candidates as possible, with the hope of providing similar coverage for Loyalist Township, Frontenac County, and the Town of Greater Napanee moving forward. All relevant links will be available under the Municipal Election 2022 tab.

For more general information on election process in Kingston, including details on electing Board of Education Trustees, ensuring you are registered to vote, etc., visit the City of Kingston Municipal Elections webpage.

Candidate profiles are being published on our website in no particular order.

Rami Maassarani immigrated from Qatar to Canada with his family in the early 2000s. He moved to Kingston in 2008 to attend university, and now works as an Environmental Engineer for Loyalist Township.

Maassarani and his wife, a physician at Kingston General Hospital, met in high school in Ottawa, and both attended Queen’s University. The pair have a two-year-old son, Jasper, who Maassarani enjoys spending time outdoors with.

This is Maassarani’s first time running for council, and he hopes to win the seat in Sydenham district. Outside of work, he is a volunteer coach for the Queen’s University Varsity Rowing team, and has a 12-year-old Newfoundland dog, Nelson, who he calls his best friend.

How would you describe your personal political ideology and/or affiliation?

I would describe myself as left-of-centre on the political spectrum. I believe that different levels of government have a responsibility to look out for their constituents and provide them with the tools they need to succeed in life. I also firmly believe that essential services, such as maintaining critical infrastructure, health care, and social services, need to be administered and regulated by the government to ensure that public safety is always prioritized over financial profits. 

What made you want to run in this municipal election?

I have lived in Kingston for fourteen years and consider it to be my home. I want to give back to my community and feel as though this is the best way for me to do so. The issues we face as a community, from housing to climate change to the cost of living, are complex and interconnected, and must be viewed holistically if we hope to address them. I believe that my background will help me understand the short and long term impacts of voting in a particular manner on a given issue. 

What are the three most common issues voters are bringing up to you as you campaign?

  1. Affordability – higher costs of living and the ongoing housing crisis is front of mind for many people in the community.
  2. Sustainability – the long-term environmental, economical, and societal implications of municipal decisions.
  3. Civility – we are living in a very polarized political environment and have lost the ability to talk things through, especially on difficult topics, such as housing and the environment. 

What three issues are most pressing/important to address locally in your opinion?

  1. Increasing the housing supply while protecting the environment,
  2. Strengthening municipal infrastructure to meet current needs, and
  3. Engaging the community in municipal governance.

What is the most pressing issue in your district?

Promoting intensification in a manner which respects the cultural heritage of Sydenham district and protects its green spaces.

What do you feel sets you apart from other candidates?

I have been working as a public servant for my entire professional career and have a good understanding of municipal government. My background in municipal engineering, specifically in infrastructure and environmental projects, will be an asset on Council and will allow me to explain the rationale behind specific decisions to constituents.

For more information on Rami Maassarani, candidate for Sydenham District in the 2022 municipal election, visit his website.

With files from Cris Vilela.

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