I am excited to be the Ontario NDP candidate for my community of Parkdale–High Park. A community that welcomed my family with open arms when we moved to Canada in 2002. A community where I am now raising my daughter together with my husband.
Life as a newcomer was not always easy. We lived in an apartment building where rents continually increased despite lack of repairs and maintenance. I worked a variety of precarious jobs, including as a ‘pick up labourer’ through a temp agency. For every challenge we faced, we found support from our neighbours down the hall to the local organizations in the city. My lived experiences has shaped me. As the MPP for Parkdale–High Park I will fight for decent, affordable, and secure housing. I will also fight for $15 and Fairness at work.
My experiences working in a hospital for Tibetan refugees, at the downtown eastside women’s centre in Vancouver, at St. Michael’s Hospital and Anishnawbe Health Toronto opened my eyes to the social issues affecting health. It led me to pursue a Master of Public Health from the University of Toronto. As a PhD candidate in Public Health Policy at Ryerson University, my research focuses on the social determinants of health as I strongly believe in prevention being better than cure. That’s the best way to take care of our health. It is not only a more dignified way to approach healthcare but it also makes economic sense.
For the last eight years I have worked alongside our former MPP Cheri DiNovo advancing Parkdale–High Park’s needs and issues in the legislature. We succeeded in getting funding for our public schools, strengthened rent control laws, fought for greater community input and responsible development by pushing for OMB reforms, advanced workers’ rights and benefits, defended public services from privatization and so much more. Our office passed the most number of private members’ bills in Ontario’s history and most number of bills with tri-party support. I have experience working across party lines and delivering results for Parkdale–High Park.
I have always worked on connecting people and advancing community voices. I believe it is critical in working towards change. Community is a special bond among neighbours taking care of each other. Our neighbours’ issues are our issues and our issues are our neighbours’ issues. I have always felt a strong sense of community here and I will work to always take care of all my neighbours. I expect our government to do exactly that – take care of our neighbours especially those in most need.
Increasingly, people are feeling squeezed from the deep cuts to the services they count on, and the cost of living that’s rising much faster than incomes. It’s getting harder to build a good life here in our city. But it doesn’t have to be this way. I want our city to be home to everyone no matter who you are or how much you earn. I want our growth be inclusive. I want to continue to serve my community of Parkdale–High Park.
I will be a strong voice for Parkdale–High Park and for Toronto.
Together, on June 7th, let’s build a stronger, fairer, and more just Ontario.