Announcing the Everyday Political Citizens of 2013

image

Congratulations to Mark Coffin of Halifax and Ali Chatur of Toronto for being named Samara’s Everyday Political Citizens of the year! Congratulations also go to close runners-up Justice Betty, Idil Burale and Samantha Livingstone. Read more about the winners and runners-up.

Everyday Political Citizen Shortlist Announced!

image

Read about the jurors’ picks for the Everyday Political Citizen shortlist. 

Nominee: Marit Stiles
Nominator: Jonah Schein, MPP for Davenport and Andrew Cash, MP for Davenport
Riding: Davenport
From organizing her local street festival, to parenting two amazing daughters, to her professional work as the Director of Communication for ACTRA and regular political pundit on Canadian television, Marit is recognized as a natural leader whose outstanding charisma is matched by her passion, intelligence, hard work and staunchly progressive values. 
We have known Marit best as a tireless and determined long-time activist for the NDP Riding Association in Davenport. Marit supported the local riding association through many lean years. Her years of hard work finally paid off in 2011 when she helped elect New Democrats federally and provincially.
Over the last three years we have worked with Marit as the President of our riding association and have watched her patiently mentor young activists, and encourage and inspire our community, to engage in politics. We want to recognize Marit for her outstanding commitment. leadership. and contributions to our community.

Nominee: Marit Stiles

Nominator: Jonah Schein, MPP for Davenport and Andrew Cash, MP for Davenport

Riding: Davenport

From organizing her local street festival, to parenting two amazing daughters, to her professional work as the Director of Communication for ACTRA and regular political pundit on Canadian television, Marit is recognized as a natural leader whose outstanding charisma is matched by her passion, intelligence, hard work and staunchly progressive values.

We have known Marit best as a tireless and determined long-time activist for the NDP Riding Association in Davenport. Marit supported the local riding association through many lean years. Her years of hard work finally paid off in 2011 when she helped elect New Democrats federally and provincially.

Over the last three years we have worked with Marit as the President of our riding association and have watched her patiently mentor young activists, and encourage and inspire our community, to engage in politics. We want to recognize Marit for her outstanding commitment. leadership. and contributions to our community.

Nominee: Fred Twilley
Nominator: Annabelle Twilley
Riding: Sudbury
Fred Twilley spent Christmas away from his family in Sudbury, as a Red Cross volunteer in Toronto. He has also worked with local Restorative Justice and Victim’s Assistance initiatives. At his own expense, he attended the international environmental conference in Mexico, blogging to educate those back home about the grave concerns facing our world. As a Green Party candidate, he has run in both provincial and federal elections in Sudbury, and The Nickel Belt.  Realistic about his chances of winning, this was his way to participate in the dialogue, helping grow a young political party that best represented his beliefs in sound economic and environmental management. A professional Geological Engineer with a Master’s in Business, now basically retired, his current concern is how the mineral riches from The Ring of Fire will be mined and refined responsibly.  Fred sets an example of how we can research and think through issues, then roll up our sleeves to put our values into action. His attitude is one which someday, will hopefully prevail.

Nominee: Fred Twilley

Nominator: Annabelle Twilley

Riding: Sudbury

Fred Twilley spent Christmas away from his family in Sudbury, as a Red Cross volunteer in Toronto. He has also worked with local Restorative Justice and Victim’s Assistance initiatives. At his own expense, he attended the international environmental conference in Mexico, blogging to educate those back home about the grave concerns facing our world. As a Green Party candidate, he has run in both provincial and federal elections in Sudbury, and The Nickel Belt.  Realistic about his chances of winning, this was his way to participate in the dialogue, helping grow a young political party that best represented his beliefs in sound economic and environmental management. A professional Geological Engineer with a Master’s in Business, now basically retired, his current concern is how the mineral riches from The Ring of Fire will be mined and refined responsibly.  Fred sets an example of how we can research and think through issues, then roll up our sleeves to put our values into action. His attitude is one which someday, will hopefully prevail.

Nominee: Richard (Dick) Faulks
Nominator: Dr. Robin Richardson, former MP for Toronto-Beaches
Riding: Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca
I have known Dick Faulks since moving to Victoria in 1990. In my many years of political activity and community volunteerism in Ontario and British Columbia, I have never met anyone so deserving of this award as Dick Faulks. He continually inspires me as well as others.
Richard Faulks, age 82 and retired from H.M.C. Dockyard Esquimalt, continues in his very active role of many years as a volunteer in federal (Esquimalt - Juan de Fuca) and provincial (Esquimalt - Mechosin) election campaigns and as a member of Island Transformations, a non-profit organization for promoting light rail solutions to Greater Victoria’s ever-increasing traffic and air pollution problems.
Mr. Faulks works as an election campaign headquarters volunteer in a variety of functions, a canvasser, and as a policy advisor on rail transportation issues, having given over 400 presentations to politicians and community groups over the past 15 years.
Mr. Faulks has also provided leadership in preparing and distributing Voters’ Guides in City Council and School Board elections on matters of importance to the local community.

Nominee: Richard (Dick) Faulks

Nominator: Dr. Robin Richardson, former MP for Toronto-Beaches

Riding: Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca

I have known Dick Faulks since moving to Victoria in 1990. In my many years of political activity and community volunteerism in Ontario and British Columbia, I have never met anyone so deserving of this award as Dick Faulks. He continually inspires me as well as others.

Richard Faulks, age 82 and retired from H.M.C. Dockyard Esquimalt, continues in his very active role of many years as a volunteer in federal (Esquimalt - Juan de Fuca) and provincial (Esquimalt - Mechosin) election campaigns and as a member of Island Transformations, a non-profit organization for promoting light rail solutions to Greater Victoria’s ever-increasing traffic and air pollution problems.

Mr. Faulks works as an election campaign headquarters volunteer in a variety of functions, a canvasser, and as a policy advisor on rail transportation issues, having given over 400 presentations to politicians and community groups over the past 15 years.

Mr. Faulks has also provided leadership in preparing and distributing Voters’ Guides in City Council and School Board elections on matters of importance to the local community.

Nominee: Val Sims
Nominator: Verna Hilderman
Riding: Crowfoot
For as long as Val Sims can remember, she’s cared about her community, believed in the imperative of involvement, and been interested in municipal politics. After a career as an elementary school teacher, she keeps busy with volunteer activities, such as supporting the work of the Stephen Lewis Foundation in Africa as a Grateful Granny.
Earlier this fall, she took the plunge into electoral politics, running for Camrose City Council. Though she did not win, she was not discouraged! She felt that she learned a great deal. And because she remains concerned about the near-absence of women on City Council (only one women was elected to an eight-person Council) and in office generally, she will stay engaged and get her friends to do so, too.
Already, she has helped me discuss municipal politics more regularly.

Nominee: Val Sims

Nominator: Verna Hilderman

Riding: Crowfoot

For as long as Val Sims can remember, she’s cared about her community, believed in the imperative of involvement, and been interested in municipal politics. After a career as an elementary school teacher, she keeps busy with volunteer activities, such as supporting the work of the Stephen Lewis Foundation in Africa as a Grateful Granny.

Earlier this fall, she took the plunge into electoral politics, running for Camrose City Council. Though she did not win, she was not discouraged! She felt that she learned a great deal. And because she remains concerned about the near-absence of women on City Council (only one women was elected to an eight-person Council) and in office generally, she will stay engaged and get her friends to do so, too.

Already, she has helped me discuss municipal politics more regularly.

Nominee: Ali Chatur
Nominator: Craig Scott, MP for Toronto-Danforth 
Riding: Toronto-Danforth
Young people like Ali Chatur give hope that citizen participation can help remake our flagging democracy. Still in high school, Ali has a special ability to inspire his peers to see volunteering within local riding associations of political parties as one way to better connect citizens to institutions like Parliament. Ali’s exceptionally active involvement in the Toronto-Danforth NDP began at age 13. Just as one example, under his co-leadership, around a couple dozen youth attend regular NDP Youth meetings at which guest speakers and thought-provoking films generate discussion on the best solutions to public policy challenges. He was also elected Ward 29 Youth Councillor as part of the City Youth Council of Toronto project. Ali has also assumed a leadership role advancing LGBTQ awareness and advocacy at Leaside High School as co-president of its Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA). More broadly in the community, Ali steps forward without fail to volunteer his time many times per year – as when he ventured out into the cold until late at night to help notify residents living in a cluster of high-rise buildings in East York where they could take shelter during the ice storm. Ali is truly a remarkable young man, who is already a community leader and who will have a great deal to contribute to Canadian society in the years ahead.

Nominee: Ali Chatur

Nominator: Craig Scott, MP for Toronto-Danforth

Riding: Toronto-Danforth

Young people like Ali Chatur give hope that citizen participation can help remake our flagging democracy. Still in high school, Ali has a special ability to inspire his peers to see volunteering within local riding associations of political parties as one way to better connect citizens to institutions like Parliament. Ali’s exceptionally active involvement in the Toronto-Danforth NDP began at age 13. Just as one example, under his co-leadership, around a couple dozen youth attend regular NDP Youth meetings at which guest speakers and thought-provoking films generate discussion on the best solutions to public policy challenges. He was also elected Ward 29 Youth Councillor as part of the City Youth Council of Toronto project. Ali has also assumed a leadership role advancing LGBTQ awareness and advocacy at Leaside High School as co-president of its Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA). More broadly in the community, Ali steps forward without fail to volunteer his time many times per year – as when he ventured out into the cold until late at night to help notify residents living in a cluster of high-rise buildings in East York where they could take shelter during the ice storm. Ali is truly a remarkable young man, who is already a community leader and who will have a great deal to contribute to Canadian society in the years ahead.

Nominee: Lynnda McDougall
Nominators: Catherine Ann Cameron, Meghan VanderMeulen and Taylor Bachrach
Riding: Skeena—Bulkley Valley
 Lynnda is the epitome of the ‘good citizen’.  Selflessly dedicated for many decades to her adopted community in Northern BC, she has led ‘from beside’ in community heritage construction projects, music festivals, theatre productions, rallies, in local action (she often attends council meetings, as Councillor Bill Goodacre says, “She’s one of those people who just consistently show up”), provincial and federal affairs (avidly supporting Nathan Cullen, MP, in his riding of Skeena-Bulkley Valley), always putting the welfare of her community first. She has also eloquently spoken out on the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline project in support of her home community.

Nominee: Lynnda McDougall

Nominators: Catherine Ann Cameron, Meghan VanderMeulen and Taylor Bachrach

Riding: Skeena—Bulkley Valley

Lynnda is the epitome of the ‘good citizen’.  Selflessly dedicated for many decades to her adopted community in Northern BC, she has led ‘from beside’ in community heritage construction projects, music festivals, theatre productions, rallies, in local action (she often attends council meetings, as Councillor Bill Goodacre says, “She’s one of those people who just consistently show up”), provincial and federal affairs (avidly supporting Nathan Cullen, MP, in his riding of Skeena-Bulkley Valley), always putting the welfare of her community first. She has also eloquently spoken out on the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline project in support of her home community.

Nominee: Desmond Cole
Nominator: Dave Meslin
Riding: Parkdale High Park
Desmond Cole is a true democracy hero.  I first met him in 2006, when he won the City Idol competition in Toronto.  He amazed the audience with humour, humility, knowledge and by presenting clever, articulate ideas about how we can improve our society.His commitment to equity issues and giving voice to marginalised communities has been the common thread throughout his work.  As a journalist, he shines light on issues - or angles - that every else is overlooking.  As a community organiser, he has invested enormous amounts of time into both the RaBIT campaign for municipal ranked ballots as well as the iVote Toronto campaign  to extend municipal voting rights to all permanent residents living in the city.

Nominee: Desmond Cole

Nominator: Dave Meslin

Riding: Parkdale High Park

Desmond Cole is a true democracy hero.  I first met him in 2006, when he won the City Idol competition in Toronto.  He amazed the audience with humour, humility, knowledge and by presenting clever, articulate ideas about how we can improve our society.

His commitment to equity issues and giving voice to marginalised communities has been the common thread throughout his work.  As a journalist, he shines light on issues - or angles - that every else is overlooking.  As a community organiser, he has invested enormous amounts of time into both the RaBIT campaign for municipal ranked ballots as well as the iVote Toronto campaign  to extend municipal voting rights to all permanent residents living in the city.

Nominee: Brenda Sayers
Nominator: Chris Kelland
Riding: Nanaimo-Alberni
Brenda Sayers, a representative of the Hupacasath First Nation in the Port Alberni, BC area, has been leading a grassroots fight against the Canada-China FIPA. With the support of First Nations groups (including Union of BC Indian Chiefs, Chiefs of Ontario, Serpent River First Nation, and NWT Dene Nation), advocacy groups (including the Council of Canadians, Leadnow.ca, and Kairos Canada), Elizabeth May, and many others, this tiny First Nation band fought a court challenge against Canada’s ratification of the 31-year investor-state treaty with China on the grounds that the Canadian government has a constitutional duty to consult with First Nations on matters that have potential effects on indigenous land rights and the environment. The Hupacasath lost their initial court case and are now appealing the decision. Brenda Sayers has travelled the country speaking about the implications of this investor-state treaty and has so far managed to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars from individual donors to stand up for the sovereignty of First Nations people as well as the sovereignty of all Canadians.

Nominee: Brenda Sayers

Nominator: Chris Kelland

Riding: Nanaimo-Alberni

Brenda Sayers, a representative of the Hupacasath First Nation in the Port Alberni, BC area, has been leading a grassroots fight against the Canada-China FIPA. With the support of First Nations groups (including Union of BC Indian Chiefs, Chiefs of Ontario, Serpent River First Nation, and NWT Dene Nation), advocacy groups (including the Council of Canadians, Leadnow.ca, and Kairos Canada), Elizabeth May, and many others, this tiny First Nation band fought a court challenge against Canada’s ratification of the 31-year investor-state treaty with China on the grounds that the Canadian government has a constitutional duty to consult with First Nations on matters that have potential effects on indigenous land rights and the environment. The Hupacasath lost their initial court case and are now appealing the decision. Brenda Sayers has travelled the country speaking about the implications of this investor-state treaty and has so far managed to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars from individual donors to stand up for the sovereignty of First Nations people as well as the sovereignty of all Canadians.