My Vote, My Future: Raseel Sehmi on BC Election 2017

Apr 8 2017, 10:48 am

Ahead of the BC election, Daily Hive is profiling young voters from across the province. Want to join in and share your thoughts? Email [email protected], subject line: My Future.

Who are you?

Raseel Sehmi.

How old are you?


What do you do?

I lead BC Tech Association’s Advocacy pillar. This includes managing research and data, policy development, government relations, and strategic projects, to advance the interests of the tech sector and to build and promote the tech ecosystem in BC. I work to make BC competitive on the global stage.

Where do you live?

Kitsilano, Vancouver.

Have you voted before?

Last year I voted in my first federal election and this will be my first provincial election. This is not because I am an apathetic individual but rather because I have never lived in a country where I was eligible to vote. Luckily that changed when I became a Canadian citizen a couple years ago.

Do you plan on voting this time?

Certainly. I believe we all have a civic duty to vote.

Does your family influence how you vote?

Not directly, my family lives abroad; however the values they instilled in me will likely influence how I vote.

How closely do you follow BC politics?

Closely but I’m certainly not an expert. Due to the nature of my work I tend to follow politics from more of a tech and innovation lens and I’m less well-versed with some other important agenda items–but I’m getting there!

Do you know who your local candidates are?

Yes I do: David Eby (NDP), Amanda Konkin (Greens), and James Lombardi (BC Liberals). I should probably do some more research on who they are and what they stand for before making a decision.

Can you name the three party leaders?

Yes and I have also had the pleasure of meeting them over the past year: Christy Clark (BC Liberals), John Horgan (NDP), and Andrew Weaver (Greens).

Would you ever consider running for office?

Yes I would. We need more diverse young people with a strong voice stepping up in decision making arenas. I believe I represent a demographic and perspectives appropriate to the current socio-economic and political climate and to the future I envision.

I’m a young educated woman, an immigrant turned citizen, a high-skill worker with public and private sector experience, a local/micro and global/macro thinker, and I care about bringing about innovation and social change at scale–and perhaps at a faster pace!

I also have a rather interesting job in that I am neither industry nor government yet I get to play in both worlds. So I see how important it is to leverage insights from other sectors to help influence government in making important decisions.

Often people feel entitled to things and find it easy to talk about what needs to change, but don’t find ways to be a part of it or acknowledge those working behind the scenes to try to solve complex puzzles. Running for office would be one way of making a difference.

Which issues do you care most about?

The tech sector

Everyday I advocate for the tech sector and, as a humanitarian who believes in making the world a better place for everyone, I have come to recognize the impact that technology can have in doing this and solving global social problems.

Technology is the present and future for all sectors and everyone will have to adopt technologies in some capacity to innovate and grow. Tech is one of the fastest growing sectors in BC and plays a key role in enhancing transport, infrastructure, jobs, housing, the economy, environment, and more.

We also have the opportunity to establish a new narrative for BC to complement the identity of beauty. To become a truly global and relevant player, progressive and inclusive policies are important. It is about adopting innovation and showing that BC is a place where new concepts are embraced.

We claim to be an innovation economy (which requires risk), yet we tend to play it safe.

I would like to see policies that allow for flexibility towards new innovative ideas being tried and tested, and for more equality and inclusivity towards diverse underrepresented groups in or entering jobs in the sector.

Additionally, speedy investments in expanding our global talent (education and immigration) and global markets (government procurement and exports). I’d also like to see openness to ridesharing and the sharing/gig economy, and support to all companies/people to ease adoption of digital technologies.

The environment

While I may not experience its direct effects in my day-to-day life, I have a love for nature and believe in the principle of preserving and using resources progressively and responsibly.

Recognizing the adverse reality of climate change, I believe it is important to invest in proactive and preventative measures and solutions to save our planet and help to alleviate the challenges we’ve set up future generations to have to cope with.

I would like to see more investment in clean technologies to boost commercialization and incentives for adoption of clean and smart technologies by society. I would love to see us establish ourselves as a leader in smart and cleantech, and export our products, services, and thought leadership in this field to the world.

Are you a young British Columbian and eligible to vote in the BC election? We would love to profile you. Email [email protected], subject line: My Future, to find out more.

Daily Hive is your home for BC Election coverage throughout the campaign period. To access our full BC Election coverage click here: Battleground BC.

DH Vancouver StaffDH Vancouver Staff

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