Author: Stephen Weir | Date: 04 May 2021
Any day now, long-time Guelph community activist and volunteer Daniella Johnson is expected to announce that she is seeking the Federal Liberal nomination in the contentious riding of Brampton Centre.
In a lengthy Zoom interview with reporter Stephen Weir, Johnson says that she is resigning her post with the LIFT Philanthropy Partners (a national, non-profit organization that helps vulnerable and at-risk Canadians) and moving to Brampton to pursue the nomination in the next federal election. Although there has been no formal announcement on when the next election will be held, political pundits say that the only question is whether the final federal vote will be sometime in late spring or in early fall this year.
Brampton Centre has long been a Liberal riding and normally one would expect the sitting member to run for re-election but that will not be the case this time around.
There over 100,000 people living in this ethnically diverse riding. Brampton Centre is Lego Block shaped. William Parkway bounds it in the north, Torbram Road to the east, Kennedy Road to the west and just south of Highway 407 on the southern end of the district. The riding also extends westward to Main Street and southwest past Kennedy to Hurontario Street.
Daniella Johnson is happy that there is an opportunity to seek the nomination in the Liberal stronghold. “ It’s time for Brampton to be heard,” said the 30-year old “We can elevate this community’s voices, concerns and aspirations, and bring it to its fullest potential!”
The 32-year MBA Western University grad has packed a lot of experience in issues that people in Brampton are facing right now. At the LIFT Philanthropy Partners she was part of the social impact team which supported social purposed organizations to help them have a meaningful impact on the communities they served. Prior to that? She worked for Waterloo Region Immigration aiding in the successful settlement, integration, and community involvement of new immigrants and refugees.
“Brampton is growing and the Black and Brown communities are getting bigger,” she said. “ We need to look for more investment (by the Federal Government) to address this.”
“ I was born in Toronto and both my parents came here from Jamaica. My husband was born in Jamaica. I am very aware that the Black community is under-represented and it is time (for that to change).” In the 2016 Canadian Census close to 16,000 people self-identified as Caribbean or Black.
While growing up her family spent much of time within the Caribbean Canadian community in Peel. Although she currently lives in Guelph, she considers Brampton to be “her second home”.
Once she formally throws her hat into the ring, Johnson and her husband will be resettling in Brampton. She already has set up a website for her coming campaign and wants to work hard introducing herself to the community both in person (following Covid rules) and online.
Although she apparently has strong support within the Liberal party, she will be up against at least one other candidate wanting to carry the flag in downtown Brampton. Last month Filipino-Canadian lawyer Paul Saguil announced his intention is seeking the Liberal in the riding and there are signs that others will jump into the ring soon.