Jermaine King wants to make a difference in the community that has been his home for the past few years.
That’s why he has stepped up to the plate to be the New Democratic Party (NDP) candidate in Ajax-Pickering in the June 12 provincial elections.
“When you look around, you see people are working hard yet still they are not making ends meet,” said King. “That’s not right.”
He said he was attracted to the NDP because they are the only party that seems to care about issues related to working class and ordinary people.
“They are interested in real life issues that affect many of the constituents in this riding,” said King. “They are about the everyday folk that experience hardships.”
King was delighted when the NDP made a statement on World Autism Awareness Day which Canada officially marked on April 2. The legislation was unanimously adopted in the House of Commons on June 20 last year.
It’s estimated one in 150 children, including King’s six-year-old son, has some form of autism spectrum disorder.
Born in Jamaica, King graduated from Clang Carthy Comprehensive High School and worked as a sales associate and marketing representative for a decade before migrating to Canada in 2006 to join family members.
Since 2007, he has been a relief project employee/custodian with Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, where he’s a member of the fiscal advisory committee and a union steward union. He also sits on the University Health Network Health and Safety Committee, partnering with staff to ensure a safer working environment.
King, who became an Ajax homeowner last year, said work colleagues encouraged him to become part of the political process.
“They told me I was doing a good job representing them and figured I could do the same for a larger body of people and make an impact,” he said.
The married father spends about 12 hours a day campaigning in the diverse riding that the Liberals have controlled since it was created for the 2007 provincial elections.
“I enjoy meeting and interacting with people,” he said. “So knocking on doors is not a hard thing for me to do as I get to meet people from all walks of life. What’s difficult is the recurring concerns I am hearing from residents. Jobs for young people, daycare and long-term care facilities for seniors are high among their concerns. Many of them also say they don’t trust politicians anymore and I am using that to motivate me because I know how they feel.”
When he’s not working or spending quality time with his family, King – his father is a retired Jamaica Defence Force sergeant major – enjoys playing basketball and golf.