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politics

Meet a Council Candidate: Jennifer McKelvie, Ward 44

Snapshots of candidates running for city council in 2014.

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Photo courtesy of Jennifer McKelvie.

Candidate: Jennifer McKelvie (age 36)

Ward: 44 (Scarborough East), currently represented by Ron Moeser, who has not indicated whether he intends to run again. Health complications have kept Moeser from council for much of the past term.

Background: McKelvie is an adjunct professor in environmental and applied science and management at Ryerson University. She has a PhD in environmental geology and her post-doc in environmental chemistry focused on contaminants. She has two children, aged 10 and seven, and in her spare time participates in half marathons.

Why are you running for council: “I look at our current council and see that we could use a good technical person on council, someone that has some technical, scientific expertise who can bring more evidence-based decision making to City Hall.” McKelvie added that she wants to focus on promoting community engagement, that the current transit conversation has neglected the ward, and that there should be more policies designed with seniors—who are a significant demographic in the ward—in mind.

What’s happening in the ward: “In our area, we have some really exciting things coming up. We have the Pan Am Games Aquatic Centre coming on the west of our ward and then on the east we have the Rouge National Park. These are going to put us on the map so to speak, but we don’t have transit to pull people out here.”

On what transit solutions look like: “I think one thing to be cognizant of is we don’t want politicians making transit plans in the city. We have transit planners for that, and I think we need to let them do their jobs. As a politician, our role is to come up with funding and help with the prioritization of implementation.”

On the three-stop Scarborough subway extension: “I don’t want to re-open the debate. We have funding that’s been committed, we have a provincial government that campaigned on the subway, I think we need to think about how we’re going to go beyond that.”

Asked how she squares this stance with the need for evidence-based decision making led by transit planners, McKelvie said, “This was a decision that was made by council, and I don’t want to re-open decisions, because that’s how we start not getting anything done. So it’s about moving forward beyond that … I think there are some benefits to the Scarborough subway. One is that it can be constructed while the existing RT is in operation. That’s a big benefit.”

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