I am writing this to you as I sit on a train on Sunday afternoon, on the way home from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ conference in Toronto. As you may know, my last job before running for office was on the communications team at FCM, so I had attended this conference for several years as a staffer. But it was truly an amazing experience to be there this year, as a newly elected councillor.
I did my best to soak up knowledge and connect with councillors and mayors from across Canada. What amazed me was that no matter where people came from, they told me about struggling with the same challenges we face in Ottawa. This includes the housing affordability crisis, homelessness, addiction, and climate resiliency. I learned about Toronto’s pilot Community Crisis Service – an non-police alternative that many of us are working to bring to Ottawa.