The Coast sent all 53 candidates running in HRM’s municipal election the same 15-question survey in order to help their residents and our readers know a little more about who’s running for council. Here’s what Gabriel Enxuga from Dartmouth Centre sent back.
Why should residents of your district vote for you?
I want people to vote for me because they think we, collectively, have the power to build a better city. I want people to vote for free transit, affordable housing, action on climate change, and addressing issues of poverty, social inequality, and discrimination.
What’s something you wish people were talking about more this election?
Affordable housing. It’s such an important issue.
What’s the last thing you Googled?
The last thing I Googled was “How can I look up my Google search history?”
What’s the most accurate criticism someone’s made about you?
I’ve only been called a communist once so far this election. I’m actually a socialist, so the person wasn’t that far off.
What was the first concert you ever went to?
God, it’s hard to remember. My first music shows I ever went to were punk shows in The Legion in Antigonish.
What was the last movie you didn’t finish?
I try to finish everything that I start.
What pisses you off?
I’ll admit it, sometimes I get road-rage.
What’s changed the most in your district since 2012?
Development. There’s been so much development in Downtown Dartmouth. I think that a lot of it is possible—I love living close to a downtown core with a grocery store, library, drug store, post office, et cetera. But I think that we need to make sure this developments includes everyone, such as students, young families and seniors who want to afford to retire in their communities.
What’s a specific moment in politics or your professional life that you really regret?
I don't have any major regrets. Yes, I've made mistakes, but I've also learned a lot of lessons.
What’s the last thing that made you really laugh?
Probably a cat video on the internet.
What’s your go-to meal when cooking?
I’m all about breakfast. I have a Monday to Friday breakfast which consists of breakfast burritos, and a weekend breakfast of French toast. I love breakfast.
What worries you the most about the Halifax Regional Municipality and the issues it's facing?
What worries me is a lack of imagination at city hall…I think we need to stop running our municipality like a business, and start thinking about a public service—an organization that acts in the public good. I think we need to ask ourselves, “How can we use municipal resources to meet the needs of everyone living in this city?”
How would you describe your opponents in this race?
An amazing group of people. I feel like friendships have started to develop. It’s interesting because running for public office is an intense experience, and I feel like in some ways we’re sharing the experience together.
What’s something you don’t know, but want to learn?
I really want to learn more languages! I come from a multi-lingual family. My mom is from Portugal and she speaks Portuguese, Spanish, and English. My dad is also bi-lingual and speaks Spanish and English. Sometimes when I’m hanging out with my parents’ friends or extended family, no one’s first language is English but everyone is speaking English because that’s the only language that I know. I want to learn Portuguese, Spanish, and French so that I can talk to so many different people from around the world!
What do you promise NOT to do if elected?
I promise not to block constituents on Twitter.