Although we may come from different starting points and perspectives, for the most part, I believe Toronto’s residents share a collective vision for the city. We want good transit networks, parks and libraries, and strong social housing and employment supports. We want to be leaders in reducing local poverty, addressing climate change, and making our city a hub for innovation. In my professional life, I focus on whether local governments have the financing and governance arrangements to meet their responsibilities. My free time is spent poring over long-form journalism, ogling contemporary art and film, and worrying about how our time will be summarized by history textbooks in fifty years.
My community involvement has included providing support to Ontario’s migrant farmworkers as Community Coordinator for Frontier College’s Labourer-Teacher Program, working for the Cape Town local government on the impact of their urban agriculture policy on low-income families, and running an international charity called Queen’s Health Outreach.
In 2010, I exhibited a solo art show of 17,989 portraits representing Ontario’s migrant farmworkers – drawing attention to the permanently temporary hands behind our local produce. While no longer a part of my professional life, the intersection between migration and labour remains one of my biggest passions.