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.

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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.


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