Zaheed Ali Khan is entering politics for the first time through his mayoral run. Khan was born and raised in Canada and later studied food preparation at SAIT, he said that this experience gave him insight as to what the city of Calgary needs.
Khan suffers from beta thalassemia major, also known as Cooley’s anemia, a blood disorder that causes life threatening anemia and requires him to be a lifelong blood recipient. As a result, he is a firm believer in the importance of early childhood development and funding mental health services. As mayor, he hopes to give funding to paediatricians.
He says, pediatricians “are the bridge and will know exactly what is needed to accomplish every individual child’s needs.” Khan also hopes to improve the state of child and family services in order to better the development and lives of families.
The Calgary Journal asked our city’s mayoral candidates five questions about themselves and their campaigns. Here’s what Khan told us:
More about Zaheed Ali Khan
5 Questions with Zaheed Ali Khan:
Abbie Riglin: What issue is most important to you as a mayoral candidate and how will you solve it?
Oh, wow. See, the problem is when people ask me the most important issue I don’t know how to come to one conclusion on that. For me, it would probably be mental health.
So people ask, are you for mental health? I’m like, well, you give funding to the pediatricians. It’d be like [Mikhail] Gorbachev’s plan, [former president of the Soviet Union].
If we were to give benefits to the children, then we could become something like the Roman or Ottoman Empire.They didn’t outsource work, in fact, they put the money into their people.
They put the benefits, health, shelter, all of it, their necessities [back into their economy]. They actually broke down what were life needs, and that’s how they thrived and became such great empires.
I believe Calgary is part of the west epicentre of the world and we can do better by our children. Like Gorbachev’s 10-year plan or a five-year plan, these children become adults and they’d want to choose where they want to have their families.
And if we did so good for them, why would they not be here and support the building of our infrastructures?
Why should young people vote for you?
Why should young people vote for me, you know what? Don’t.
I’d say please read the platforms, because I’m getting emails, absurd emails, and I’m going to speak to them as to the segregation and the dismantling of human morality. That’s what I’m going to call it — vaccinated, not vaccinated.
I’m not going to say any names, but I got an email stating unvaccinated people should just be dropped off in the chest, they shouldn’t be taking up hospital beds. I didn’t know how to answer this, I was like, your question was absurd. I’m not going to answer this.
As a lifetime blood recipient I have fallen through the cracks, but I have more of these vaccine questions to me unwillingly than anyone else. So I do understand the unwillingness to participate as to what’s going on in your body.
Let’s say you have downtime from your campaign, which local restaurant or coffee shop are you going to?
Well, before the passport was put into play, I was going to the 4th Spot Kitchen and Bar. The reason I’ve been going to the 4th Spot is it’s near my home and I want to put it back into my community.
The 4th Spot actually does put back into the community itself. I know this with their charities and even the people who work there are from within the neighborhood.
I can’t explain it, they call it the 10K. It is like this business is operated, owned and established and ran from within a 20 kilometre radius, I’m not even joking. So I go to the 4th Spot.
What is one TV show or movie that helped you get through the pandemic?
Oh, God, there wasn’t one.
I’ve been driving in my car doing deliveries. Honestly, it’s just there, I believe, just to be a Band-Aid solution to people. Like just kind of curb the way they’re thinking, kind of like pointing them in other directions.
We can change the city, but if everyone’s watching the Big Bang Theory or their favorite show, they’re not actually trying to create change. […] Calgary is in a difficult economic spot right now and many young people are looking elsewhere for opportunities.
What would you do to help the city prosper as we eventually emerge from the pandemic?
Oh man, this is a tough one. We need to usher in a 24-hour business logic for those that are willing to participate, we need to take the helm out of those in charge in Alberta.
I’m not sure how many cities are in Alberta, but those like 96 or close to 170 or so, are little tiny towns. It is absurd that there is one person at the top who has no relativity or distinct constituency who fits into any of these little tiny factions running and calling the shots.
We need to establish our own charter of rights.