I was born in Toronto, and grew up in New York, Saskatoon, and Louisville. Returning to Canada, I attended Dalhousie University in Halifax (BA), the University of Toronto (M.Div.), and York University (LLB). After graduating, I lived first in Toronto with frequent extended stays in other parts of the world including Australia, the US and countries in Asia.
Since putting down roots in Vancouver with my family in 1999, I have come to know and treasure Vancouver’s many vibrant and diverse neighbourhoods. Our first home was in Dunbar where my two sons attended Southlands Elementary and Point Grey Secondary schools. Then, in 2008, with an almost empty nest, my husband and I moved to Kitsilano.
For the past five years, I have been a trustee of the Vancouver Public Library Board (VPL) and served as chair of three of them. In 2014, I was also elected to the BC Library Trustees Association and am currently serving a two-year term.
Through VPL, I am constantly reminded of the critical role that public institutions play in supporting individuals and in enhancing civic life. I am very proud of being part of VPL’s initiatives to engage underserved populations including at-risk youth, people who are homeless, and newcomers to Canada. I am also proud of our efforts to promote inclusion and connectedness to civic life through leadership on such things as the Vancouver Inspiration Pass. VPL deserves its reputation as the most valued public service in the City of Vancouver.
As a policy advisor, lawyer and senior manager in the public service in Ontario and BC for more than 15 years beginning in the 1980s, I contributed to significant advances in elder law, adult guardianship, human rights, employment equity, and pay equity. I also led initiatives to enhance measures of accountability and performance across a broad range of government agencies.
Over the past nine years, as co-owner of Ethos Strategy Group, I worked on behalf of many not-for-profit and public sector organizations to bring about positive change on a wide variety of public interest issues. For example, Ethos designed and led the first six Homelessness Action Week campaigns for Metro Vancouver, contributed to the development of the Alley Health Fair (at Carnegie), organized numerous Homeless Connect events, and assisted the Burnaby Board of Trade to successfully champion a resolution to end homelessness at the Association of Canadian Municipalities. Ethos also worked on behalf of the federal government to educate and inform seniors across the country on how to protect themselves from financial abuse and fraud.
I have served a wide varied of committees and boards – West Coast LEAF, Canadian Women Voters Congress, Dunbar Residents’ Association and Dunbar Tree Committee, Ryerson Community Garden – in addition to volunteering with my sons’ sports teams (hockey, soccer, and baseball). In 2012, I was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for community service.
I am committed to advocacy. As a PAC Chair of Point Grey Secondary School and a founding member of the BC Society for Public Education in 2005, I spoke out in support of public schools and against provincial underfunding and undervaluing of public education. I continue to be concerned that the critical role of public education in contributing to an equitable society is being eroded.
In both my volunteer and professional work, I am deeply committed to the values of equity and fairness and I will strive to realize those values in all I do on behalf of the residents of Vancouver.