It came as a bit of a shock.
Wasim Jarrah calls me out of the blue to say he is pulling out of the Ward 5 by-election race on his doctor’s recommendation. Goodness me!
The statement below, issued just a few moments ago, explains the reasons.
I didn't have the presence of mind to ask him if he was endorsing anyone else.
I was caught off guard.
Wasim's decision leaves seven in the race to succeed Joe Sponga as councillor for Ward 5.
Statement from Wasim Jarrah withdrawing his candidacy
It is with regret that I must announce I am withdrawing my candidacy for the Newmarket ward 5 by-election on my doctor’s recommendation.
I have been suffering from a torn ACL in my knee and chronic pain in my back, and campaigning throughout these past few weeks has exacerbated the problem to the point where my doctor and I made the decision that I must prioritise my health and undertake the necessary surgery to correct the problem. I’m thirty-four years old, and it would be foolish to push through this issue and risk having a lifelong injury.
After meeting with my doctor on Saturday, I spent time with my family and I know this is the right decision to make.
This decision has not been made lightly, but I feel as if I need to make this decision to operate with integrity and transparency. I will not put my own interests before those of the community. If I am to serve the community it must be done with respect. Given that the recovery from my knee surgery will be lengthy and the remaining term of Council short, I feel I will not be able to represent the community that has entrusted me with their confidence in the way they expect.
I want to thank my supporters for all their dedication, best wishes and amazing volunteer efforts. My volunteers were truly the backbone of my campaign and I could not have accomplished what I did in such a short time without their support. We put together a fantastic campaign team and planned to announce a series of policy pieces focused on improving practical concerns in the ward. I am proud our campaign was positive, focused on policy and professional.
It has been a pleasure and a privilege to meet with residents to discuss ideas and concerns. I am honoured and thankful for the support I received.
As I said at my campaign launch, "Newmarket is the place my wife and I chose to call home. I’ve lived throughout the world, but this is the place we knew was right to start our family and raise our kids. I am grateful for this town, for the way it has welcomed an immigrant like me. I have always believed that it is important to give back, to serve the community. I am proud that my success in business allows me to contribute to a variety of community initiatives and charities to improve our town. That’s the Canadian ethic I am working to pass on to my two children: we are blessed to be in Canada, and we have a wonderful duty to give back to our community.”
I still believe very strongly in those Canadian values, and I look forward to continuing to contribute to this community as a private citizen and businessman.
I would also like to send my best wishes to all my fellow candidates as they continue to engage in the democratic process.