I was born and raised in Brantford, and grew up on Mohawk Street in Eagle Place before moving into Echo Place. I come from a family of teachers, farmers and health care workers going back 3 generations in our riding. Growing up, I spent many hours at the Mohawk Chapel with my grandmother, watching and learning from her as she gave tours of the chapel and sharing its history. It is no wonder then that I find the top of the banks overlooking the Grand River behind the Chapel, to be one of the most beautiful sites of our community. I attended St. Peter’s Elementary School, where I became known across Brantford and Brant County for my passion for public speaking. I then attended Assumption College School, where for four consistent years, I served as the Master of Ceremonies for hundreds of ACS graduates.
Some of my fondest family moments occur when I attend to and visit my Aunt’s homestead, ElbertaFarms, in Paris. It was a pleasure to work for her and my Uncle Joe on weekends at the Farmer’s Market. I firmly believe that the Farmer’s Market is the place to go to say hello to everyone and hear their perspectives – which is why it is a popular campaign stop for all candidates.
I am pleased to contribute to public life in Brantford and Brant County in a number of ways. From 2010 to 2014 I served on the Board for the Sanderson Centre for the Performing Arts, having served as its Director of Programming and Partnerships. I currently serve on the Downtown Brantford Business Performance Grant Advisory Committee and was recently appointed Committee Chair. I’m an active member of Paris-Brant Kiwanis and love to contribute to other local charity drives.
In years past, I have participated in the Brantford Citizen’s Police Academy (which I highly recommend to anyone), enjoyed volunteering for the Brant Symphony Orchestra, refereeing for the Brantford City Soccer Club, working with Kiwanis to start a school club, and dancing and volunteering for almost 15 years in the Brantford International Villages Cultural Festival and representing the Hungarian Hall as its Ambassador (I was pleased to attend the Villages Festival this year for the 29th consecutive year).
I have also been active in Brantford and Brant local media. I have written regularly for the Brantford Expositor as a community editorialist and I also chronicled the 2011 Ontario election in Brant for the Toronto Star. I have appeared on the local RogersTV station in various capacities, as a reporter, debate moderator for our municipal elections, and as a regular Liberal panelist for Political Roundtable.
Professionally, I have experience working at the provincial and federal levels. I worked for our past MP, Lloyd St. Amand in his office in Ottawa and I was a research and policy analyst for the Ontario government. In addition, I have extensive experience in the non-profit sector, working on social justice issues for organizations such as the Canadian Council of Churches and Development and Peace. I also had the privilege of volunteering for Free the Children in Kenya, helping to build schools and teach English to children on the Maasai Mara.
For over three years, I have served as a Vice-President at Pathway Group, a leading business consulting firm focused towards government relations and public affairs. In this role, I have helped to shape the strategic direction of the firm and provided legislative and strategic communications advice for approximately 30 clients (non-profits, associations, small and large businesses) from a range of sectors and helped to voice their interests to the Ontario Government. I’ve been proud to assist in achieving results for diverse interests such as women’s shelters, Parks and Recreation Ontario, the Ontario Provincial Police Association, steel companies, beef farmers and Metis Nation Ontario, amongst others.
I’ve also been proud to serve as the Director of Legislative and Political Affairs at the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association (OCSTA), entrusted with shaping their political and legislative course and serving as a liaison with diverse interests on their behalf. OCSTA is the sole representative of Ontario’s 29 English Catholic District School Boards and represents their needs to government and various stakeholders. OCSTA is also the major provider of professional services to 237 Catholic School Board trustees.
I hold a Masters Degree in Political Science from the University of Guelph and a hold a Bachelors Degree (specializing in Peace and Conflict Studies) from the University of Toronto.
I am pleased to have friends across Canada, and in all parties, and believe that work is needed across party lines for many issues to be truly addressed. In addition to being your advocate in the Liberal caucus, the media and government, I will commit to working hard to pass Private Member’s Bills designed with your input.
As an MP, I want to pride myself on doing politics with the highest ethical standards and sense of civility. I very much believe in frugality, transparency and accountability, and I will be a passionate advocate for the range of complex issues relevant to Brantford-Brant. Anyone I have ever had the pleasure of working with knows where I’m from and the pride I have for my community. Most of the time when I run into people I know, they ask me, “What’s new in Brant?” I would be honoured to reply that I’m working hard as your MP!
I am ready to represent you and will work tirelessly to make you proud should you give me the privilege of becoming your MP. I want to be your positive fighter and deliver for your priorities.
Please get involved with my campaign to make this a reality. I am privileged to lead a team of local volunteers who have been recognized as one of the top Liberal campaign teams in the country. If you want a real change in government and local representation, our local team is the strongest choice to make it happen.
Together we can help restore faith in politics and see Brantford-Brant’s interests get the attention they deserve by our government.