Brantford Sports Council Questionnaire

1. Why did you choose to run in this election?
I chose to stand for election because I believe Ward 5 is ready for the next generation of engaged, responsive and professional Councillors who are prepared to work together to get things done but without losing sight of our rural and agricultural priorities.

2. How would you describe yourself to the voters?
I am a dedicated, hard-working businesswoman with a background in public sector governance and administration. I hold a Master’s degree in rural history and a strong interest in preserving our rural and agricultural communities in Ward 5 and across the County.

3. What would you like the voters to know about you?
I would like voters to know that although I did not grow up in Brant County, it is my chosen home and I am deeply committed to its future. When my partner, John, introduced me to his hometown of St. George and family farm now in its second and third generations, I knew I had found my place. It took us longer than some to find our farm, but once we did we haven’t looked back!

4. What is your number one priority if you are elected?
I am an advocate for stable and responsive governance, which includes accountability and communication with constituents. I chose to stand for election because I was frustrated with the responses I received to challenges we experienced around the farm, which inspired a conversation about the need for fresh representatives who are ready to challenge complacency, advocate for impartial application of the rules, and return constituents’ calls in a timely manner.

5. If elected, what are 3 steps that you would take to ensure our community is on a firm financial footing?
As a businesswoman (and taxpayer) myself, I will apply the same judicious oversight to the County budget as I do to my company’s finances. This involves asking the right questions at the right stages in decision-making processes, ensuring that qualified staffers are leading County initiatives, and Council receives timely updated on progress.

6. If someone came up to you with a proposal to build a new public infrastructure in our city (i.e. bridge, road, facility, park etc.), how would you evaluate whether the project was worth implementing?
If a proposal came forward, I would cross-reference the idea with the County’s Strategic Plan and other guiding documents to identify whether it was already evaluated and/or included on the list of forthcoming projects. If this wasn’t the case, I would undertake due diligence to determine whether there is a broader community interest in the project and if yes, advocate to Council that staff undertake a feasibility study so that an informed decision could be made on the issue at hand.

7. If you received a $1 million grant to use for the city any way you wanted, what would you do with the funds?
Approaching this question from the perspective that the grant is used for “nice to haves” for the community, I would choose parks, playgrounds, and sports fields. Having worked for a local contractor that builds and retrofits municipal outdoor recreational facilities, I know that $1 million goes a long way to refreshing aging infrastructure and we could easily ensure that a location close to each of the County’s rural communities received a project. There are a lot of outlying communities that have little to no parks, playgrounds, or sports fields because they are less densely populated but that doesn’t mean that these facilities will not be used. Having canvassed door-to-door across Ward 5, I know firsthand that residents are eagerly awaiting them!

8. Where are your favourite places to spend time in your neighbourhood and in the community?
I enjoy spending time on my farm which includes 600 feet of frontage on Fairchild’s Creek, an orchard, pond, and gardens. We are eagerly awaiting the opening of the new Cainsville Community Centre. As a rural historian and genealogist, I enjoy visiting the County’s cemeteries including the historic ones such as the Johnson Cemetery on my road. Living in one of Brant’s outlying communities, we have fewer public-facing businesses and parks available to us, which is why I am an advocate for small business support and family-friendly community services.

9. The Pandemic has been with us for the past three years and no one has been left untouched, what are the 3 key things you would do to overcome the impact of the Pandemic as we move forward in 2023 and 2024?
As a stepparent to three school aged children, I strongly believe that children and youth need constructive social opportunities to (re)develop the social and emotional skills lost during the school closures. This includes access to engaging, affordable programming such as sports and clubs in their home communities because Ward 5’s rural residents should not have to drive across the County for their children to join a team or pick up league. Likewise, I am a strong advocate for seniors’ activities close to home because many experienced considerable isolation during the pandemic and the health effects of loneliness are well documented. Lastly, I believe we should be prioritizing supports to small businesses because they provide good, local employment and are the first to give back to our community when asked to do so. Small businesses were disproportionately impacted by pandemic restrictions, inflation, and staffing shortages yet are integral to our local economy and cannot be overlooked by economic development initiatives.