Transparency and accountability are critical and we have more trust to build between city hall and residents. I want to listen closely to what residents need and want from their city, bring forward those ideas, be an advocate for the positive change we all want to see for Nanaimo, and report back from the inside so you know exactly what’s going on.
Call #57 calls on municipal governments to “Provide education to public servants on the history of Aboriginal peoples, including the history and legacy of residential schools, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Treaties and Aboriginal rights, Indigenous law, and Aboriginal–Crown relations.”
I originally moved to Nanaimo nine years ago from Elora, Ontario, to work as a radio reporter. I didn’t know anyone here and I’d never even been to BC, I just knew I loved Nanaimo bars and I was excited to get to know the city. My goal was to cover all the important issues and help citizens better understand what was happening in their community so they could be more engaged and involved in shaping the future of the place they call home.
I quickly fell in love with Nanaimo – not just for its natural beauty – but because of the vibrant community. This city is full of amazing community-builders, including artists, musicians, small business owners, entrepreneurs, activists, and big-hearted people working hard to make Nanaimo an even better place. After only a short time, I knew I wanted to stay and be a part of it.
As a reporter with 91.7 Coast FM, I saw many highs and lows firsthand and regularly covered city council meetings. I gained a strong understanding for the key issues at play in our city and what really matters to residents. I also gained a lot of respect for the many grassroots organizations, not-for-profits, service clubs, and volunteer groups making a positive impact in the community.
Making a positive impact is why I got into journalism in the first place, which then led to politics. In my current role as a Caseworker for the Member of Parliament’s office, I help people navigate federal bureaucracy and I advocate on their behalf when they need assistance. I love getting positive results and helping people feel heard, understood, and respected.
During my time in Nanaimo, I have also worked as the Bookstore Manager for Literacy Central Vancouver Island, an incredible not-for-profit agency that helps people reach their literacy goals. I have been involved with organizing the Vancouver Island Short Film Festival since 2015, first as a volunteer and then as Festival Director for the past two seasons. I have written a few freelance articles for The Discourse, including one about the Nanaimo Rent Bank highlighting the ongoing rental affordability crisis. In 2015, I had the honour of participating in the Tour de Rock as a media rider. I personally helped fundraise over $18,000 to send kids with pediatric cancer to Camp Goodtimes, and I shaved my head during an event at Maffeo Sutton Park to support the cause. Look, it grew back!
Reason for running
As a former reporter with a background in broadcast journalism, I will listen closely to what residents need and want from our city, bring those values and ideas to the council table, and report from the inside so you can be more informed and involved in the decisions impacting our future. I’m committed to doing the research when more information is required, asking the tough questions, and using critical thinking to help determine the best course of action to meet the needs of Nanaimo citizens.
For the past few years, I’ve been helping Nanaimo residents navigate federal bureaucracy and advocating on their behalf when they’ve been let down by the government that is supposed to serve them. I see the serious challenges people are up against when it comes to problems like affordability and access to health care, and I understand the many complex, systematic issues at play. I’m ready to put my energy into municipal politics, where the local government can take a proactive role in helping to address these critical areas that have a huge impact on our daily lives.