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Noushahi wants to make Barrie one of Canada's 'finest' cities

'My first job will be to listen to the residents of Ward 4,' says 60-year-old real estate broker and driver’s training school operator

Editor's note: BarrieToday is running profile stories on candidates for city council in each of the city's 10 wards. For more election coverage, visit our 2022 municipal election page by clicking here, where you can also find mayoral profiles and other election news. 

Ajmal Noushahi wants to help make Barrie one of the “finest” cities in Canada.

The 60-year-old real estate broker and driver’s training school operator, who has lived in the city for the past 19 years, tells BarrieToday that, as a longtime resident and Canadian citizen for 31 years, he wanted to show the community his gratitude, which is one of the reasons he is running as a candidate in Ward 4 in this fall's city election.

“I have received so much which makes me grateful and I feel I ought to put my share in… and get involved (in) making the City of Barrie one of the finest cities (in) Canada.”

Although Noushahi acknowledged issues such as infrastructure and homelessness are among some of the city’s issues, he was hesitant to categorize any issue facing the city as being more important than the next.

“All issues are big depending on the significance of the issue and depending on the people who are facing it,” he said. “People do not have high-paying jobs in Barrie. …  What we have most (are) retail jobs or some factories where people get minimum wages (and) we need to address (that) on (a) long-term basis. “

The city also needs to look at redistributing its tax dollars, Noushahi added, noting property taxes continue to increase annually, but not everyone is seeing the same benefit. 

“Some roads (are) never fixed," he said. 

Accomplishing anything, Noushahi noted, requires listening to the residents of Barrie, as they are the best judge of what is — and is not — being done in their own neighbourhoods.

“We need to ask people to come with the ideas, not just hire someone for the reports; and implement it to (the) city, therefore my first job will be to listen to the residents of Ward 4,” he said. “I think we need to reach both upper levels of governments and find solutions for the issues under their movement policies and plans.

"I also believe we need to increase volunteerism in some sectors as well. I also believe we need to find good ways of utilizing population growth positively rather (than) as an expense," Noushahi added. 

As a former instructor of economics and business, Noushahi says he brings with him a knowledge base of economic fundamentals and rules, which he says provides him some unique skills for future planning. Noushahi says he also brings a practical knowledge of business administration. 

“Furthermore, as a transit operator, my best skills were serving residents, which makes me more comfortable to deliver the services again in a different way. During my job, I used to provide services to everyone including seniors, students, newcomers, children, men and women, so my ability to (be) a first-hand help provider…is an asset and I am going to utilize it if elected," he told BarrieToday

"My previous job and present business make (me) able to work with a team or alone with no problem. I (have) served directly the residents of Barrie so there is no time (needed) to learn how it works. I know Barrie and Ward 4...  roads, traffic, potholes, places, school, economy, jobs, etc. I am the person who can raise (a) voice on the basic issues and concerns of Ward 4.”