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Tahir hopes to make Ward 3 better place for families

While going door-to-door, Zohaib Tahir says common concern has been crime and vandalism in north-end ward

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

Zohaib Tahir has lived in Barrie since 2005 and hopes to one day raise his family in the city.

That’s one of the reasons the 25-year-old has decided to take a shot and run for Barrie city council in Ward 3 in this fall’s municipal election.

Tahir, who attends York University where he’s working toward his bachelor of commerce degree, is running in the north-end ward because, after living in Barrie for more than 15 years, he says he wants the city to continue to grow and prosper for years to come.

“I want to ensure that me and my family and friends can eventually raise our families here, because this is a great city," Tahir told BarrieToday

Tahir says as he has gone door-to-door, he’s begun to notice a common thread of concern among the residents that they’d like to see addressed by the city’s council in its next term. 

“Vandalism and crime was a matter of concern. I do know that vandalism and crime is on the rise and if I am elected, I will work with (the) city and law enforcement agencies to find solutions to solve the problem,” he said. 

As a city overall, Tahir says also top of mind to the residents he’s spoken to so far are the issues of homelessness and affordable housing.

“We need to build more houses and different kinds of housing so that everyone in the city can live in a (place) that is suitable for them. Also, around the city, as everyone knows, no matter where you live there is homelessness,” he said. “I believe we need to create a task force (which includes) social services, the City of Barrie, Barrie police… so we can understand the needs of every individual and assess what kind of services they need.”

Attracting more jobs to the city would be a top priority for Tahir should he win the Oct. 24 election, he says. 

“Many people in my ward, and the city at large, travel for work and are stuck in traffic a minimum of two hours a day. If they can work in our city and enjoy our city, that would be great. I will work with employers and see what the city can do to create more jobs and better-paying jobs.”

Tahir also believes his unique and different background, as well as his ability to speak three different languages, will set him apart from other political candidates and will allow him to communicate with residents from a variety of different cultural backgrounds. 

“I will work with everyone with respect. I always try to bring people together and try to (reach) a mutual understanding. I do know that in some instances that we will not all agree… but if we can treat each other with respect we will get through it,” he said. “I know I am only one person and I would need the support of others to improve this ward and the city.”

Tahir's opposition in Ward 3 so far includes only incumbent Ann-Marie Kungl, who won a byelection in 2020 after Doug Shipley was elected MP in Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte.

Nominations close Aug. 19 for candidates.