A young 27 year old is one of the key candidates at the upcoming 2017 provincial election. Balpreet Bal, owner of Bal Realty Services and Surrey resident, is contesting as an independent candidate for Surrey-Newton.
Bal grew up and studied in the Surrey region. At 19, he got his realtor’s license, and by 22-23 he had his own real estate brokerage. The young candidate has achieved quiet a lot for his age. Besides being a proud owner of a real estate company, he is a well-known youth figure in the community. I ask him about his interest in politics when youngsters his age are still making career choices, “Any issue, be it education, gang violence or infrastructure, affects our generation more than anyone else. There’s nobody there to voice our generation’s opinions or needs. When all these policies are being formed and implemented, we are kind of being left out,” he says citing one of his reasons to stand for election.
He further adds, “It’s not a career for us but it came as a necessity at the end of the day. We are tried of waiting around to see if somebody steps up, so a bunch of us got together and thought maybe we need to take it into our own hands to sort these issues.”
Bal decided to contest as an independent candidate so that he doesn’t have to change his views as per a party he represents. “We had two choices – do we take that [joining a party] route to go through the whole party politics system and then work our way up or can we avoid that and spend our time and effort to actually creating some kind of change?” he explains.
Belonging to a young generation himself, Bal’s main focus is the youth and catering to their needs. He wants to “provide an outlet for the youth to divert their attention [from bad habits] and get involved in a passion project they can move forward with.”
While sharing his plans, he points out that Newton lacks a proper recreation centre for these kids. “Newton being a heavily-youth populated area, we need one here. Teambuilding, bonding with people your age – these are essential skills that these kids need a place to expand on. Something that we really want to see happening is our youth being driven more than they are right now into the right direction,” he asserts.
Besides that, a few other focus areas include infrastructure and the challenges attached to it, medical care and reducing long waits at the emergency, and a good transit system in the city. Talking about transit, Bal states, “The question is we need transit but what kind of transit do we need. That’s something they [government] are steering away from. Skytrain would be a lot more viable solution.”
He also plans to use his real estate experience in creating jobs and dealing with the housing affordability issues in the city. Bal’s realtor experience has helped him deal with people and meet their needs. “We have a good understanding of the land layout as well as to how the city planning process works.” he adds.
The independent candidate has already received the support of the young generation and the old. In conclusion, he promises a safe community for the people, “Everybody wants the best for their kids; everybody wants to live in a society where they feel safe and protected. Safety is huge and our community deserves that. We are going to do what we can to work towards that so that together as a community we can grow.”
Follow Balpreet Bal's journey through his social media: Facebook - @Bal.Balpreet, Instagram - @bal.balpreet or SnapChat - The-Bal