A Vancouver entrepreneur who served as Chief Growth Officer of Farfetch, VP at HomeAway.com, President and CEO of Serebra, and was VP of Strategy and Partnerships of VANOC for the 2010 Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games is the Liberal Party of Canada’s candidate in this fall’s election, it was officially announced today.
And in an interview with Daily Hive, Taleeb Noormohamed said that with the kickoff of his campaign now official, his job now is to make sure “that we give every single voter” in Vancouver a reason to head to the polls in October and cast their ballot.
Accomplishing this, he said, involves “being out there every single day in front of voters, in front of residents, and talking about the things that matter to them, listening to them, and making sure we hear their concerns; putting the effort into learning what matters to them and thinking about ways in which we can help.”
Noormohamed is running with the party in the riding of Vancouver Granville, currently the riding of former Liberal MP Jody Wilson Raybould, who is now running as an independent, after being removed from the Liberal caucus earlier this year.
And while Noormohamed is aware of how things played out between the federal party and Wilson-Raybould, he said that moving forward, he can only focus on his goals and what he can do to connect with voters in the riding when it comes to courting votes for him and his party.
“My job is to communicate to folks why the formula of the past four years must be continued, why looking to the future is important,” he said. “Quite frankly, the fact is that this [election] really is a choice between having Justin Trudeau as Prime Minister, or taking a step back and turning the country over to Andrew Scheer and the Conservatives.”
“I think that’s the question voters are grappling with,” he continued. “What I’m hearing from folks in the riding is: do we want to keep making progress on climate change, housing, and transportation, do we want to make sure we maintain a positive and dynamic role in the world, or do we want to move backwards?”
Speaking about his decision to run, Noormohamed said “a lot of people” approached him to ask and encourage him to throw his name into the ring.
“What it really boils down to is, if I’m going to do this, am I the best person to represent the interests of this riding and will I be in a position to fight hard for the issues that matter to folks who live here?” He said. “I think the answer is ‘yes.'”
The other factor behind his decision to run, he said, has to do with “giving back to a country that gave my family everything making a difference in the lives of others, and solving problems for people.”
It’s all these factors, he said, that are behind his motivation to run.
It won’t be his first time on the federal campaign trail, however.
In 2011, Noormohamed ran for North Vancouver MP in the 2011 federal election, but lost to Conservative MP Andrew Saxton.
He opted not to run in the 2015 election, but ran for municipal office in Vancouver during the 2018 election, before being forced to pull out of the race due to a health issue.
Now, with less than three months to go until the election, Noormohamed said he’s excited about what lies ahead – for himself and the party as a whole.
“It’s exciting to be part of a team, and part of a team with a Prime Minister and a party that has a plan for the future,” he said. “People have a billion and one reasons to vote against things all the time, but for me, this campaign is about giving people a reason to vote for something, instead.”
This “something,” he furthered, includes voting for things like “progress on climate change, better options around housing and transportation, and the kind of role we want to play in the world.”
While it may seem like a sensible approach, Noormohamed said that too often, it’s something people lose sight of.
“If we want people to get involved in the public discourse and in public life, giving them a reason to support something rather than oppose something is a much more powerful tool,” he said.
And while Noormohamed said he intends to keep his campaign focused on these aspects, he knows not all candidates or parties will take the same approach – recognizing that sometimes things can turn a little ugly.
Still, Noormohamed said he “can’t worry about” the strategies that other people may use as part of their campaigns.
“People can throw all the mud they want, take whatever approach they like, but for me it’s going to be about a positive campaign that incites people to get involved; that shows them they can hold their politicians to the standards they hold other people that they work with in their lives.”
It’s not unreasonable, he added, “for people to expect the same level of professionalism and competence from their elected officials as they expect from other professionals that they interact with every day.”
At the end of the day, he said, what matters “is getting people to feel motivated enough to get to the ballot box and vote. You don’t do that and achieve the results you want by not convincing them to get there.”
Once someone has decided to cast a ballot, “your job is to convince people that what you’re doing for them is going to matter in their lives and their families,” he said.
Canadians head to the polls this October.