Photo above is of Nadine Walker.
By Beverly Browne
Pride Contributing Writer
In the upcoming municipal elections, you’d be mistaken if you thought the number of candidates is only the names you hear about in mainstream media. The fact is, across the GTA, there are far more candidates registered than the general public is aware of.
With the growing diversity in communities, this column is intended to highlight some of the ethnic ‘movers’ who want to reflect the Black and Caribbean community. While not an exhaustive list, the hope is that it will encourage you to look in your own municipality to learn about the new people who might have a fresh philosophy.
The following are candidates we were able to confirm with by press time.
Nadine Walker has lived in Canada for over 20 years. Her place of birth was Kingston, Jamaica. Her strong belief in the value of public service, coupled with being a mother of two sons are what compel her to create what she describes as a “generational legacy.”
Working together with resident is a theme that runs in Ms. Walker’s platform. She says it starts with listening to residents of all ethnicities so that she can be their voice at the Town of Ajax council.
Thereafter, her goals are:
– To find solutions through ‘smart energy’ that will offset utility costs and provide savings to residents.
– To be an advocate for grants and incentive programs for the youth to promote careers in Science, Technology and Business Development.
– To create incentives for small business owners who live and operate a business in Ajax so that more local jobs will be created
– To be a supporter of less complex bylaws, removal of red tape and employer incentives that will promote local hiring
– To address speeding issues by endorsing a heightened priority to address traffic monitoring, police patrol and better traffic signs that lessen speeding in residential neighborhoods
Ms. Walker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.nadinewalker.ca; or 647-964-3924.
Peter Tijiri emigrated to Canada from Guyana, South America in the 1970s. He has been a Pickering resident for more than 15 years, after having moved from Toronto. An active member and Treasurer of the Scarborough Chapter of Toastmasters International, Mr. Tijiri also volunteers at an Ontario Youth Justice Committee community centre.
His involvement there has led him to be deeply concerned about the crime rate within the younger generation, and the fact that the increase in crime comes from a lack of hope among young people. Without work for the young, he says he foresees criminal activity spreading to Pickering. He wants to see programs that encourage businesses to move to Pickering to help address the youth unemployment and under-employment.
His two main issues for running are:
1) To address youth under-employment, so that youth in Pickering will be able to get work in their community.
2) Finding affordable housing for seniors, to lessen the 4-5 year waiting list in Pickering
Mr. Tijiri’s personal motto is “to go the extra mile in any undertaking…and render more and better service than is expected.”
He can be reached at: email@example.com; www.petertijiri.com; or 905-492-2734.
Patrice Barnes is running in Wards 1 and 2, Ajax, for trustee seat with the Durham Board of Education. Promising to be a strong and accessible leader, she advocates for student achievement in numeracy and literacy by focusing on students individually and the way they learn.
The mother of two is an active member in areas such as School Community Council, Canadian Caribbean Cultural Association of Durham, Durham Caribbean Festival and Ajax Home Week. She maintains that such experiences have given her the opportunity to better grasp the great diversity of the Durham Region.
As School Trustee, Ms. Barnes promises to be accessible to and transparent with parents, teachers, schools, and the community.
Her website reminds voters of the convenience of voting from your smart phone or tablet.
Her platform also includes:
– Ensuring through the proper use of existing programs that children who need extra support in curriculum, accessibility or socialization will be allotted the necessary resources.
– Having an open-door policy where parents can expect a response within 24 hours after they contact her
– Encouraging parents to be partners in their children’s education
– Advocating for additional after-school programs, study groups and extended French in partnership with community organizations
– Advocating for leaders who reflect the diversity of students