Meet the Members

This page features information about each Assembly member and the region in Ontario they represent.

More information is available about the member selection process in the Selection Process and in FAQ categories.

Find a member by riding:

Algoma — Manitoulin

Donald BrickettDonald Brickett of McKerrow (near Espanola) was born and raised in Alberta. About the Citizens' Assembly, Donald says: "I want to be involved in and represent my community, even in a small way." Donald is retired from a 34-year career with Inco. He has served as captain of the community's volunteer fire department for 12 years and is actively involved as an executive on the Cottager's Association for his area. He enjoys gardening, hunting, fishing and the cottage life.  Donald and his spouse Raija have one son, Pat; three daughters, Donna, Leann and Dawn; and three grandchildren, Noah, Will and Atley.


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Ancaster — Dundas — Flamborough — Aldershot

Jeff WittJeff Witt lives in Waterdown; he has three children, Jennifer, Jordan and Stacey. He had a strong feeling he was going to be selected for the Citizens' Assembly. "It was an omen! There's been a winning streak happening at the Witt household in the last two weeks," he said after being selected. Jeff says he "will love the challenge to make a difference." He is a metallurgical engineer and manages a team developing new lightweight laminate materials for the automotive industry. Jeff enjoys family time, gardening and sports. He has volunteered as a mentor with the Industry Education Council of Hamilton, and actively supports his daughter's high school rowing team.

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Barrie — Simcoe — Bradford

Karl CaderaKarl Cadera came to Canada from Germany in 1955 and grew up in Windsor; he now lives in Barrie and often visits his brother in Seattle. Karl and his wife Susan have three sons and two grandchildren. A retired high school principal, Karl works part-time for several community service agencies assisting with their fundraising efforts. Always looking for ways to help vulnerable people, Karl says “how we treat our most vulnerable is a sign of the strength of our society.” An active canvasser in past elections, Karl has “always been interested in politics” and thinks the Citizens’ Assembly is “another way to contribute to our democracy.”

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Beaches — East York

Catherine BaqueroCatherine Baquero from Toronto was the first person selected to the Citizens’ Assembly. She says she is “excited to have the opportunity to be part of this democratic process.” She is currently finishing up her B.A. in Peace & Conflict Studies at the University of Toronto and her next goal is to apply for a Master’s of Social Work. Currently, Catherine is working with children who have autism – a job that she finds very rewarding. When she is not studying or working, Catherine enjoys movies, especially documentaries, reading (Catch 22 is her favourite book), and all kinds of dancing – tap, jazz, salsa and belly dancing.

 

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Bramalea — Gore-Malton — Springdale

Theresa VellaTheresa Vella of Brampton was born in Malta, the second to last of eight children. She is happily married and has a new addition to her family, a beautiful granddaughter. Theresa works with children in a hospital and likes contributing to the well-being of people, especially children. She enjoys travelling to see how other people live, cooking all kinds of food and gardening. Theresa says the Citizens’ Assembly is a “rare opportunity” and good timing because she recently told her husband that she might like to be more involved in politics in the future.

 

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Brampton Centre

Joyce HughesJoyce Hughes of Brampton was born in Portsmouth, England and came to Canada with her family in 1954. Joyce is married with two sons, both married with grown children. She is committed to being her granddaughter’s chauffeur, driving her to college or work. Joyce is “excited about participating in a committee that jointly will discuss and review the electoral process and possibly contribute to change.” Retired now, Joyce was a payroll and benefit administrator for 27 years. She enjoys baking and has travelled extensively, but still has Australia and New Zealand on her list of places she would like to visit.


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Brampton West — Mississauga

Mappanar SundrelingamMappanar Sundrelingam was born in Jaffna, Sri Lanka, where he still has lots of family, but has made Ontario his home for 18 years. He lives in Mississauga with his wife Bhanu and their two children, 12-year-old son Vaakesan and 10-year-old daughter Inthu. Mappanar says he is looking forward to working with the other Citizens' Assembly members. He believes the Assembly is a "once in a lifetime experience" and wants to "get more involved in Ontario's community." When he is not busy with work – a Team Leader with a major bank downtown – Mappanar enjoys music, reading and spending time with his family.


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Brant

Leana SwansonLeana Swanson has lived in Brantford for 23 years. She manages a cellular phone store and attends university part-time, majoring in history. Leana is interested in politics, law, and current events; and enjoys reading historical novels and writing. She has travelled through Europe and once spent two months in France. Leana wanted to be a part of the Citizens' Assembly because she "felt it was important to be part of something that would have so much impact... that would be groundbreaking."

 

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Bruce — Grey — Owen Sound

Arita DroogArita Droog was born in Toronto but spent some of her childhood in Holland. She returned to Canada in 1964 and now lives in Durham. Arita and her husband Arnold have been married for 33 years and have two children, Adrian and Alysa. They’re also proud grandparents to Jacob. Arita spent 18 years as a bus driver, and more recently a merchandiser. Arita now has “the privilege of staying home.” She thinks “it is important to learn about the government and be involved in history.” Arita enjoys camping and exploring the sites of Ontario. In her spare time, she is very active in church activities and volunteers with her local food bank.

 

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Burlington

Sandra RichterSandra Richter was born in Hamilton, part of a family of 10, and now lives in Burlington with her husband, Reg. She works as an account manager for a software company and previously worked with the Halton Board of Education. Sandra loves the outdoors: golfing, hiking, snowmobiling and spending time at her cottage in Muskoka. She sees the Citizens' Assembly as a "challenge to learn something new, get more involved in the community and be a part of history."

 

 

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Cambridge

Jerrold LabrecqueJerrold Labrecque was born in Thunder Bay and moved to Cambridge three years ago.  He's travelled across Canada and says his favourite spot is Baffin Island for the "great fishing."  Jerrold and his wife Becky have two boys, Joshua and Owen.  A retired Captain with the Canadian Armed Forces, Jerrold has taught high school science and worked as a registered medical lab technologist.  Now he's a senior project manager with a local technology firm.  In his spare time, Jerrold enjoys basketball, hockey, fishing and gardening.  He says he "would like to learn how the electoral process works and assist with improving our current process."

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Chatham — Kent Essex

Jean ThompsonJean Thompson was born and raised in Chatham. She and her "terrific and supportive" husband have two children: one just started university and the other is graduating. Jean used to enjoy spending time watching her kids play minor softball and taking them to bowling lessons. She is an animal lover and has two dogs. Jean is excited to be part of the Citizens' Assembly and "to be involved in how elections work." She says she's "never done anything like this before."

 

 

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Davenport

Jon BridgmanJon Bridgman was born in London, Ontario and now resides in Toronto. He has travelled and worked throughout Canada and internationally. He spent over 30 years in the financial industry and is a director of a number of companies. An entrepreneur he has co-founded several businesses over the past 15 years. Jon has two children both of whom are married with children. He describes himself as having "a strong environmental conscience" and enjoys fishing and golfing. Jon says he's happy to be part of the Assembly because "we must always be striving to improve things," and "it is critical for our democratic process to educate all citizens to exercise their right to vote."

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Don Valley East

Olivera BakicOlivera Bakic from Toronto was born in Yugoslavia (now Serbia) and came to Canada with her husband and two boys 38 years ago. Olivera taught high school French and was the office manager for her husband’s dental office for 24 years. These days, she is a very active retiree who loves reading, walking and cooking, and does catering for friends and others. Olivera says the Citizens’ Assembly just “felt right” and that this was the “perfect time to make a contribution.”




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Don Valley West

Taylor GilbertTaylor Gilbert lives in Toronto with his wife Nancy. Together, they have three grown sons: Gregor, Adam and Brian. A retired professor of accounting at the University of Toronto, and former council member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario, Taylor says he’s “always been interested in politics,” and that the Citizens’ Assembly “is only going to happen once,” which is why he wanted to “take advantage of the opportunity.” Taylor volunteers at Sunnybrook Hospital, plays tennis and enjoys downhill skiing. A published author, Taylor has an interest in the stock market and goes biking and hiking in his spare time.

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Dufferin — Peel — Wellington — Grey

Matthew (Matt) L.O. CertosimoMatthew L.O. Certosimo grew up in Bradford, studied in Waterloo and Halifax and now lives in Caledon. He and his wife Dawn have twin eight-year-old daughters, Maggie and Frankie. Matt says the Assembly is "an historic opportunity to make a difference" and since he studied political science, he's "quite interested in the electoral process." Matt is a labour and employment lawyer in Toronto, a partner in a national law firm, and an adjunct professor at the University of Toronto. He enjoys spending time with his wife and daughters, and travelling whenever possible.



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Durham

Margo BathMargo Bath was born in Newfoundland, the youngest of eight children. She graduated from Memorial University and studied at universities in Manitoba and British Columbia. Margo has called almost every province her home at one time or another but now lives in Oshawa and teaches at Durham College. Margo, herself, is a lifelong learner and sees the Citizens' Assembly as an "amazing learning experience" and a "mind opening project." Margo loves travelling and her trips have taken her to South and Central America, Mexico, Europe, and the United States. The night before she was selected, Margo returned from San Francisco which included a coastal drive to Monterey and Carmel-by-the-Sea.

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Eglinton — Lawrence

Laura AntonioLaura Antonio is of Portuguese descent. She was born in Toronto and continues to live there. She is the youngest of four children and has spent some time living in Brazil on an academic exchange. Laura has a Bachelor of Business Administration (Honours) from York University and recently left a career in retail management. She plans to apply to law school in 2007. She describes herself as a lifelong learner and wants to be part of the Assembly to “have an impact on something that could effect great change.” In her spare time, Laura enjoys golfing and playing poker (friendly games, not the high stakes variety!).


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Elgin — Middlesex — London

Darcie BeckleyDarcie Beckley lives in St. Thomas with her girlfriend Julie, their three cats and Jack Russel pup, Kira. She is interested in earth-based spirituality and practises Reiki energy healing. In addition to artwork and writing, Darcie is an avid hiker, enjoys camping and tries to spend part of each day in a "wild place." She and her partner facilitate drum circles. Darcie assisted with the construction of the labyrinth in Waterworks Park and participates in sweat lodges. She says the Citizens' Assembly "seems like an exciting possibility for personal learning and growth."


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Erie — Lincoln

John TollJohn Toll of Dunnville also lived in Belleville and St. Thomas, while serving in the OPP. After the OPP, John studied forestry and worked for Natural Resources in conservation and public relations. He obtained a BA from Brock University as a mature student. Now retired, he enjoys gardening and woodworking, and is involved with Crime Stoppers, the Lions and Freemasonry. He is the author of the book "Tornado" which tells the story of the Woodstock storm of 1979. He and his wife Glenda have three children and six grandchildren. He is intrigued about the Citizens' Assembly because "the province is changing demographically and it is important to examine other electoral systems to see which works best."

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Essex

Tamara FickTamara Fick was born in Woodstock, but now lives in Essex County, where she met her husband. Tamara has two stepchildren and enjoys being a grandmother to five children; she looks forward to teaching them about electoral systems. Tamara loves to travel and her position as an administrator for a local union has taken her to Las Vegas and Bermuda. Next up is a trip to Hawaii in 2008. Tamara enjoys reading, long walks and family get-togethers. Normally, she curls in the winter, but doesn't mind taking a year off to improve her understanding of electoral systems: "There will always be curling. I want to be a part of making history."

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Etobicoke Centre

Melinda SelmysMelinda Selmys lives in Etobicoke and is married with three small children: Agnes, 6, Philomena, 3, and Solomon, 1. Melinda has her hands full working inside the home, caring for her children and looking after her husband’s grandmother. Before her first child was born, she ran a homeless shelter in Orangeville with her husband. When she finds time, Melinda enjoys creative writing and reading. For Melinda, being on the Citizens’ Assembly is an “important civic duty” and she is looking forward to learning about electoral systems: “I don’t have strong views on any system – that’s important. Some have strong views but they may not have researched the topic.”

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Etobicoke — Lakeshore

Tom EngelhartTom Engelhart of Etobicoke was born in Montreal.  He spent his childhood in London and Toronto. Tom has one brother, two nieces and one nephew.  He is retired from his job in information technology with the Toronto District School Board.  Tom says that the Citizens' Assembly is a project he "believes in" and that he is excited about having an opportunity to "make a contribution."  He spends his spare time taking courses in book publishing, participating in charitable walks and runs, and enjoying the company of family and friends.  Tom also enjoys cheering on the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Toronto Blue Jays and has a love of trivia.

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Etobicoke North

Zaya Abram YonanZaya Abram Yonan is from Iraq and has lived in Etobicoke for the last ten years. Zaya lives with his four grown children, three daughters and one son. After a career working in personnel management with petroleum companies Zaya is looking forward to retirement. He likes to dance, enjoys picnics and travelling. About the Assembly he says, “I want to express this point to my fellow citizens: elections are very important to the democracy of our country. I want to help.”




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Glengarry — Prescott — Russell

Roxanne TaillonRoxanne Taillon was born in Charlottetown, P.E.I. and now lives in Alfred. She is from a French-Canadian family and has a younger brother. She enjoys travelling and learning about other cultures.  Roxanne is studying sociology and just finished her third year. She spends her summers working with adults who have special needs. She loves kids and aspires to be an elementary school teacher. In grade eight Roxanne won the opportunity to work at Queen's Park for a week. She describes it as "an exciting and challenging experience." About the Assembly, Roxanne says she wants "to make a difference and share her opinions. Politics are part of everyone's life directly or indirectly."

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Guelph — Wellington

Elsayed AbdelaalElsayed Abdelaal moved to Guelph from Saskatoon in 1999.  He and his wife Sanaa have two daughters, Gilan, who is in university, and Reham, who is finishing high school.  Sanaa is a research associate, and Elsayed is a research scientist working on the development of grain-based functional food products.  He says the Citizens' Assembly will be "a new learning experience" and is looking forward to helping to ensure that "our community has the best electoral system possible."  Elsayed recently finished editing a book, "Specialty Grains for Food and Feed."  In his spare time he enjoys soccer, tennis and reading.


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Haldimand — Norfolk — Brant

Jon KristmanJon Kristman was born in Simcoe and has lived there all his life, but has travelled to the US many times and also to Paris. Jon says he has “a good family.” He aspires to be a corporate lawyer one day. Jon is interested in politics and thought the Citizens’ Assembly “seemed really interesting” but he never dreamed he would be selected. He plays hockey and has helped coach a kids’ team but his real passion in life is motocross racing.


 

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Haliburton — Victoria — Brock

Marie McLarenMarie McLaren grew up on a farm in Blackwater and lived in Markham for 25 years before moving to Buckhorn seven years ago. Marie and her husband have two sons and one grandchild. Retired from a 34-year career as a public school teacher, Marie sings in three choirs and volunteers at her local community centre. In her free time, she enjoys walking, golfing, reading, needlework, and cheering on the Blue Jays. For Marie, the Assembly is a “good chance to learn about electoral systems and be a part of something important.”



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Halton

John DaleyJohn Daley was born in England and served in the Royal Navy from 1948 to 1955. He came to Canada in 1960 and now makes his home in Georgetown with his wife of 50 years, Jean. They have two children and seven grandchildren. Formerly an industrial engineer, John is retired and very active in the local Seniors’ Centre. He is also involved with the Shriners and is Chairman of the Sick Children’s organization in Georgetown. John enjoys water colouring and wood carving owls and birds. He is “looking forward to being part of a groundbreaking experience and gaining an understanding" of what his "fellow citizens would like.”

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Hamilton East

Rosemarie (Rose) ArsenaultRosemarie (Rose) Arsenault has lived all her life in Hamilton. She says she started to get interested in elections during the last federal election and is very excited about being part of the Citizens' Assembly. Rose is a people person and has worked in sales for over 20 years. When she is not at work as a Corporate Account Manager with one of Canada's largest floral wholesalers, Rose enjoys spending time with her nieces and nephews (she loves children), travelling to warmer climates, entertaining, reading and taking part in charity fundraising events, such as bowling for the United Way and the Canadian Cancer Society Relay for Life.

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Hamilton Mountain

Jennie StakichJennie Stakich calls Hamilton home but her extensive travels have taken her across Canada, the US, Europe, Asia, South America and the Caribbean. She wants to be a part of the Citizens’ Assembly because it sounds interesting and is looking forward to working with the other Assembly members. Jennie said she was genuinely surprised to be selected: “These things don’t happen to me.” She has three nieces, three grandnieces, one nephew, two grandnephews and one great-grandnephew. Retired now, Jennie enjoys playing bridge and doing “bone builder” exercises. Weather permitting, she starts out early every morning for a 3-mile walk.

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Hamilton West

Frank O'GradyFrank O’Grady lives in Hamilton but was born in northern Ontario. He loves packing up his tent and setting out on his bicycle to tour Ontario’s many beautiful provincial parks. He takes about five or six trips every summer. Frank also enjoys reading historical biographies, British ones in particular. Frank is married and has a son and a daughter. He has worked for a university for over 30 years, currently as a radio dispatcher. For Frank, the Citizens’ Assembly is a “pretty good move to have a non-partisan, independent look at the electoral system.” He says the Assembly is important because “a lot of people discount democracy right now.”

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Hastings — Frontenac — Lennox and Addington

Dianne CareyDianne Carey of Inverary has lived in Kingston most of her life. She has two sons, 26-year-old, Chris and 16-year-old, Fraser. Dianne has worked with the federal government for 33 years, supervising a team of revenue collectors. In her free time, she enjoys working in her huge garden and walking. Dianne is very excited to be a part of the Citizens’ Assembly. She has always been interested in the political process and issues and says there were always “political discussions over breakfast” in the Carey household.



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Huron — Bruce

Scott AllenScott Allen was born in Clinton, studied in Windsor and Waterloo, and now lives near Goderich.  He is a land use planner with a local engineering firm, where he is responsible for conducting environmental assessments. Scott is currently on parental leave—a first for men in his office. Scott and his wife Anita were married in 2000 and recently welcomed their daughter Olivia.  In his spare time, Scott enjoys golf, softball, curling and hiking. He has travelled throughout England, the Caribbean, the United States and eastern Canada. Scott is looking forward to, "Evaluating strategies which could enhance the fairness and equity of our electoral system."

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Kenora — Rainy River

Julia CranerJulia Craner calls Wabigoon near Dryden home, and though she's lived in Alberta, Manitoba and Nova Scotia, it's the land and lakes of Ontario she loves.  A status Cree, Julia and her husband Ken have two children, five grandchildren and a chocolate brown Labrador Retriever named Mocha.  Her jobs in customer service and administration take Julia to Fort Frances and Kenora. Julia enjoys camping, fishing and biking.  She also likes photography and technology.  In her spare time, Julia keeps the books for a local church.  She says participating in the Citizens' Assembly is her "chance to have a say in the electoral process for people from Northern Ontario."

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Kingston and the Islands

Buddhadeb ChakrabartyBuddhadeb Chakrabarty, a refugee from Bangladesh, came to Canada in 1995 and has made Kingston his home since 1997. He lives with his mother and one sister, and has two sisters in Montreal and a brother in Toronto. Buddhadeb is part-owner of Cafe India, which he opened in 2002, and is rumoured to make a “great beef madras.” He is an avid currency collector – “it’s a great way to learn about culture and identity” – and has paper money from 168 countries. Buddhadeb is interested in politics and has volunteered in numerous election campaigns. He says he respects democracy – “democratic rights are open to all” – and likes the “freedom of Canada.”

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Kitchener Centre

Marcia SoedaMarcia Soeda of Kitchener was born in Hamilton. She’s lived in a number of places in Ontario, including Woodstock, Brampton and Burlington. Marcia has two sons, Eric, 18, who is studying to become a pilot, and Tyler, 13, who is in grade seven. The family has a toy poodle named “Bear.” Marcia enjoys arts and crafts and spending time with her children. She was involved with her local community centre and participated in tree planting and playground construction activities. Marcia says she wants to be part of the Assembly “for future growth and learning” and “to become educated about electoral systems.”


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Kitchener — Waterloo

Ron VanKoughnettRon VanKoughnett lives in Waterloo.  He enjoys travelling and recently went to Australia as a member of Canada's Duathlon (running and cycling) team where he won the silver medal in the 60+ category.  Ron and his wife have three children, all of whom were "born, raised and educated" in Waterloo.  A retired high school English teacher, Ron is very busy training for the World Duathalon Championships which will be held in Newfoundland in July 2006.  He feels passionate about his "country, province and community" and is looking forward to contributing to the Assembly process.  In his spare time, Ron enjoys reading, gardening and spending time with his seven grandchildren.

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Lambton — Kent — Middlesex

Peter SorokaPeter Soroka, of Grand Bend, has lived in a few places in Canada including Manitoba and Alberta. Peter has a Bachelor’s from the University of Waterloo and a Master’s from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. He spent 22 years doing career counselling and being a co-operative education coordinator at Wilfrid Laurier University and is now enjoying early retirement. He’s acted in two student films, “The Nature of Reality” and “And No Birds Sing.” He enjoys gardening, biking, skiing and “puttering about.” Peter says it’s “exciting that citizens are being consulted,” and is looking forward to “learning about electoral systems and meeting other Assembly members.”

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Lanark — Carleton

Bruno SteinkeBruno Steinke of Kanata (near Ottawa) is originally from Alberta. He is married with two boys, ages 5 and 6. Bruno has worked for the federal government for eight years where he is presently a director of social program reform. Bruno enjoys spending time with his wife and kids and likes to go south every year. In his free time, he enjoys taking the boys to their activities, playing ultimate (ultimate frisbee) and downhill skiing. About the Citizens' Assembly, he says "voting is the core of democracy" and he wants "to be a part of why and how votes count."



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Leeds — Grenville

Fran ByersFran Byers of Gananoque attended the University of Windsor where she obtained her Bachelor of Social Work. She worked for the Children's Aid Society for 23 years and currently works in mental health services, offering continuing care to people living with mental illness. Fran and her husband, Jim, have two sons and one daughter. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family, cooking, gardening and boating in the summer. Fran says she feels very honoured to represent the electoral district of Leeds–Grenville and sees the Assembly as a "chance to be part of an historic process."


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London — Fanshawe

Linda BarnumLinda Barnum was born in Stratford and now lives in London with her husband. Married for 32 years, Linda and William have two daughters, Melissa and Jennifer, both married. A semi-retired registered nurse who specialized in geriatrics and mental health, Linda now has more time to enjoy her hobbies, including genealogy, gardening, bird watching, and working on the computer. She also likes spending time with her cats and dogs. Linda says she wants to be a part of the Citizens' Assembly "to learn about the electoral system." An avid traveller, Linda has been to Denmark and Venezuela which she says was "a definite culture shock."

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London North Centre

Catarina FernandesCatarina Fernandes was born and raised in London. She completed Child and Youth Counselling in Ottawa and her Honours degree in Social Sciences from the University of Western Ontario. Catarina works as a counsellor for abused women and children and is currently completing her Master's degree. She loves spending time outdoors and enjoys camping, biking and hiking, often with her Miniature Pinscher, Jelly-Bean, and her family. She says the Assembly is "critical to ensuring we are practicing our democracy in the best way possible."



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London West

George DennisGeorge Dennis was born in Toronto and moved to London at the age of three. He has one sister who is studying at the University of Guelph. George has worked in construction for the last year-and-a-half and enjoys fixing motorcycles in his spare time. He was involved in the Ontario Youth Parliament, which gives students the opportunity to participate in mock parliament, for four years. George is “pleased that the government is taking an interest in what Ontario residents think” of their electoral system. He plans to spend the summer building his own motorcycle.


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Markham

Andreo CornacchiaAndreo Cornacchia was born and raised in Markham. A student at York University, Andreo is studying biology and psychology. He describes himself as “a computer hobbyist” and is a self-taught web developer. Andreo is pleased to be part of the Citizens’ Assembly and says he wants “to help bring a young person’s perspective to the voting process.” Andreo volunteers at a local hospital in his spare time. He is an avid reader and enjoys watching movies.




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Mississauga Centre

Salma AzizSalma Aziz was born in Karachi, Pakistan and now makes her home in Mississauga. She is married with five children and is looking forward to her eldest son’s wedding this summer. Salma has a Bachelor of Education and taught grades 4 and 5 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. She currently conducts weekly Quran study groups for women in her neighbourhood. Salma enjoys reading religious literature, playing cards, and spending time with her family. At first, she was reluctant to put her name forward for the Assembly but her husband encouraged her to do so. She is very excited to be working with fellow Assembly members and “would be honoured to help her community.”

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Mississauga East

Carolyn AgasildCarolyn Agasild lives in Mississauga and loves to travel. Recently, she travelled to Sweden, her father’s birthplace, and Estonia, her ancestral home. Carolyn has an Honours B.A. in Geography and English and worked in city planning before becoming a content editor for a legal publisher. She follows the news and takes a keen interest in current events. Carolyn loves sports, especially tennis and cycling, and completed the Rona-MS Bike Tour – 190 km from Brampton to Waterloo over two days. About the Assembly, she says: “I’m honoured to be selected. I welcome the opportunity to learn more about our electoral system and possible ways in which to improve it."

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Mississauga South

Kam (Ellen) ChanKam (Ellen) Chan of Mississauga was born in China and came to Canada from Hong Kong with her family 12 years ago. She has a sister and brother in Mississauga and works from home, helping her brother with his business and taking care of her niece and nephew. Ellen has done volunteer work in a hospital in Toronto and enjoys reading and watching all kinds of sports. She was drawn to the Citizens’ Assembly because she “wants to learn more about Ontario and meet more people.” She says: “not everyone understands electoral systems and this is a good time to learn.”


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Mississauga West

Patrick HeenanPatrick Heenan is originally from northwestern Ontario but has lived in Mississauga for the last 20 years. He is married and has three children, all of whom are currently enrolled in university, studying engineering and political science. Patrick is employed in the aerospace industry. He enjoys hockey, golf and reading, particularly in the area of politics and economics. He feels that the current political process does not encourage involvement by most citizens. "I want to see if electoral reform would help to stimulate interest and lead to increased participation during elections."


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Nepean — Carleton

Peter WarrenPeter Warren of Stittsville (near Ottawa) is in his third year of university, studying history. As he told a local paper, he is “better acquainted with 16th-century monarchies than our electoral system... but is "excited about the opportunity to learn.” Peter’s father and uncle are firefighters and he would like to follow in their footsteps. He lives at home with his parents, Neil and Estelle, and his younger sister, Ashley. He enjoys snowboarding, mountain biking, rock climbing, golf, travelling, reading and computers. Peter always thought “there must be a way to improve the electoral system” and sees the Assembly as a “chance to do something about it, not just complain about it.”

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Niagara Centre

Stephanie JonesStephanie Jones , who has lived in Niagara her whole life, joined the Citizens’ Assembly because she feels “it is our responsibility to voice our concerns and be accountable for our society.” She is a professional actor and runs a non-profit theatre company, “The Essential Collective.” Stephanie is taking a one woman show across Canada and to London, England. The show, “17.5” – the time it takes to complete an Ironman triathlon before you’re counted D.N.F. (did not finish) – is written by her partner Jason. Stephanie has two daughters and enjoys soccer, running, triathlon and reading. She recently discovered the writing of Jane Jacobs and is now a big fan.

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Niagara Falls

Salvación VillamilSalvación Villamil was born in the Philippines. In 1966, she moved to Canada and has lived in Niagara Falls for 30 years. She is married to Bernardo, a professional engineer. They have three children and three grandchildren. Salvación obtained her Master of Arts in Education from the Philippine Women’s University and a Diploma in Reading from McGill University. Salvación is a member of the Canadian Federation of University Women. She enjoys reading, playing contract bridge and taking cruises. She hasn’t missed an election since becoming a Canadian citizen and wants “to be on this historic journey for electoral reform to achieve progress” in her adopted country.

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Nickel Belt

Richard BowdidgeRichard Bowdidge immigrated to Canada from Bournemouth, England in 1956. After a brief stay in Timmins, he moved to Sudbury where he’s lived ever since. Richard has been married for 27 years and has two daughters. The elder is the curator of a heritage museum and the younger is completing a degree in law and justice. Richard says he wonders how he “ever found the time to work” now that he’s enjoying retirement after 30 years as an editor with the Sudbury Star. About the Assembly, he says “it’s an interesting subject that needs a public hearing.”


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Nipissing

Roland (Rollie) GibeauRoland (Rollie) Gibeau has lived in North Bay for 20 years; prior to that he lived in London, Camp Petawawa, Deep River, Arnprior, and Saint John, N.B. Married for 45 years, Roland has a daughter and two granddaughters in Acton. He was a senior appraiser with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation for 30 years and a commercial real estate appraiser in the private sector for 13 years. He feels that retirement provides an excellent opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to society and sees the Citizens' Assembly as a means to that end. Rollie also volunteers with Phone Busters, a national anti-fraud centre, and in his spare time he golfs, reads extensively and plays piano.

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Northumberland

Wendy LawrenceWendy Lawrence was born and raised in Port Hope but moved to Brighton about a year ago. She lives with her youngest daughter, Katelynn, and her mother, Millie, “who is wonderful.” Wendy also has a daughter, Kenzie, and a son, Kory. When she is not at work as a customer service representative with a major department store, Wendy enjoys reading, crocheting, gardening and going for walks along the beach. About the Assembly, she says she was “interested in learning about electoral models and hopefully finding ways to improve our system,” and is “looking forward to meeting the other members.”


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Oak Ridges

Patricia (Pat) MillerPatricia (Pat) Miller was born in Manchester, England and lives in Richmond Hill with her daughter, Lindsay and her grandson, David. Pat has two sons, Leslie and Michael, four granddaughters and three great granddaughters. She is retired from a career in computer services, which included spending a year and a half in Germany, overseeing the conversion of computer systems. Pat puts this experience to good use, for example, by helping her church with their local applications. She also looks after her grandson and enjoys gardening, camping, bird-watching, puzzles and crosswords. Pat says she is "lucky to have won a seat on the Assembly" because she has always been interested in politics and voting systems.

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Oakville

Laura WellsLaura Wells has lived in Oakville all her life but aspires to travel. She lives with her mother, sister and brother, as well as a dog, cat and three rats, Astro, Ticker and Riley. Laura is currently completing her secondary school diploma in Toronto. In her spare time, she enjoys writing, drawing and has an interest in politics. Being selected for the Citizens’ Assembly is timely for Laura who recently completed a civics course, including a component on electoral systems. “This is such an exciting opportunity to meet different people and be immersed in the electoral process.”


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Oshawa

Nancy CollinsNancy Collins from Oshawa was drawn to the Citizens’ Assembly because she is interested in learning about electoral models and “being part of such an historic event that could lead to changes in our electoral system.” Nancy and her husband Lorne have a daughter and a son. When they are not busy running the pest control business they have owned for over 25 years, Nancy and Lorne enjoy travelling, going to the cottage, and entertaining friends.




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Ottawa Centre

Tara CurrieTara Currie of Ottawa was born in Charlottetown, P.E.I. and tries to get back to the east coast as often as she can. Tara can’t wait for the Citizens’ Assembly to start: “meeting people from around the province will be amazing.” She studied journalism and has worked in a variety of positions with the provincial and federal governments. Tara was recently married to Matthew and has a cat, Harper. She is a movie buff and enjoys travelling and trying new restaurants. Tara also does public relations for the Ottawa area Girl Guides of Canada.



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Ottawa — Orléans

Thomas TaylorThomas Taylor of Ottawa works for a law enforcement organization, managing a database in an administrative capacity. He has travelled throughout Europe and enjoys reading on a variety of subjects, listening to music, golfing, camping, and cross-country skiing. Thomas is interested in being "part of a group to effect history." He says: “the Citizens' Assembly is definitely unique; it's a process of citizen participation that has never been tried before in Ontario.”



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Ottawa South

John TownesendJohn Townesend of Ottawa came to Canada from London, England in 1957 and has visited every province and territory. He has been married to Faith for 41 years and they have two "very important" cats: Milly and Molly. John is a criminologist and worked with the federal government until his retirement 11 years ago. He is active in the Christian community in Ottawa and provides care to ailing seniors. John's hobby is genealogy and he is working on a book about his family history. He has always been interested in participatory democracy and is "looking forward to the Assembly project with a passion."


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Ottawa — Vanier

Christopher DoodyChristopher Doody has always lived in Ottawa but is currently studying journalism at the University of King's College, in Halifax. He is starting his third year in September 2006 and may be the Assembly member who has to travel the greatest distance to attend meetings. Christopher has a twin brother, Jonathan, and two younger sisters, Michelle and Siobhan. He enjoys working on his school newspaper, and reading in his spare time. He believes the Citizens' Assembly will be a "great experience" and "a chance to make history."



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Ottawa West — Nepean

Carl BergerCarl Berger was born in Montreal and has lived in Cannington and Kitchener-Waterloo. He currently resides in Ottawa with his common-law wife of 9 years. He works in information technology, specializing in IT Security. Carl says keeping on top of what's happening in the "hacker community" is never-ending. He calls himself a "homebody" and likes to spend time working on home projects. He is drawn to the challenge of learning more about electoral systems as an Assembly member - a change from what he does now.



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Oxford

Margaret MessengerMargaret Messenger of Woodstock was born and raised in Oxford County. She is married, with two children graduating from university. Margaret teaches health care at a college and worked as an educator and nurse at a local hospital for 23 years. She enjoys reading and summer activities at the cottage she bought a few years ago. Margaret is on various committees, including the Oxford County Elder Abuse Network (OCEAN), which promotes community awareness of elder abuse, and has participated in two annual wellness days for women. Margaret says the Citizens’ Assembly is “a great opportunity to be involved in something that will affect us all.”

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Parkdale — High Park

Andrea KirkhamAndrea Kirkham was born Ottawa, grew up in London, Ontario, and now makes her home in Toronto. She studied art and has been teaching for four years, currently art and Canadian history to grades 4-8 at a private school in Mississauga. She says she “loves it!” Andrea thinks “it’s amazing they are asking citizens what they think” and she wants “to be able to use this process" in her history class. Outside of teaching, Andrea enjoys watching movies (especially documentaries), art, reading and music.



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Parry Sound — Muskoka

Jordan ElliottJordan Elliott was born and raised in Lindsay.  He studied business marketing in London and has lived in Muskoka for five years.  He now lives outside Bracebridge with his wife and young daughter.  Jordan says he is interested in representing his age group because "There are not many of us  involved in politics...This is a stepping stone for me to learn more about politics and become more involved."  He is a second year carpentry apprentice and says he enjoys it very much.  In his spare time, Jordan builds boats and participates in motor sports.



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Perth — Middlesex

Lynda DillLynda Dill says she's "always believed it is very important that all citizens be active in our government process."  Lynda was born and raised in Stratford and has two grown children, Sherry and Shawn.  She worked for a trust company for 15 years and is now taking a medical transcription course.  Lynda enjoys knitting, reading and going to the theatre.  She also loves participating in children's activities with her three grandchildren.  Lynda is a foster parent and is an annual volunteer for the Children's Aid Christmas Program.  An animal lover, Lynda's family includes three dogs, two cats and a fish.


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Peterborough

Ann ThomasAnn Thomas has lived in Peterborough for 35 years and has been married for 34. She and her husband have three daughters and three grandchildren. The Assembly caught Ann's interest because she isn't volunteering at the moment but has been very active in the community in the past. To Ann, "the Assembly will undoubtedly be an educational and rewarding experience... I'm excited to be part of history in the making." Ann works in a long-term care facility in Peterborough - a job she says she loves. "Working with the residents at their favourite things, especially gardening, is truly rewarding." In her free time, Ann enjoys traveling, volleyball, golf, painting, gardening and photography.

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Pickering — Ajax — Uxbridge

Raj RoopansinghRaj Roopansingh was born in Toronto but now lives in a new community in Ajax with his wife and two children, a four-year-old girl and a two-year-old boy. Raj works as a Quality Assurance Analyst and enjoys hockey, softball and golf in his free time. He says he wants to be on the Citizens’ Assembly “to make a difference” and to “be involved in an historic process that may recommend change.”



 

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Prince Edward — Hastings

Cornelio (Junior) ReyesCornelio (Junior) Reyes of Belleville was born in the Philippines, where he obtained a Bachelor of Science in Criminology (with a major in handwriting analysis) and worked for the Manila Police Department for five years, before coming to Canada in 1976. Cornelio is married to Leonila and they have three children – two sons and a daughter. He has worked as an I.T. Coordinator at a major retailer for 15 years. Cornelio has travelled across Canada and enjoys bowling, curling, reading and listening to music. He finds the Citizens' Assembly "very interesting and challenging" and wants to learn more about the electoral process.


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Renfrew — Nipissing — Pembroke

Maureen GraceMaureen Grace has lived in Pembroke for 50 years. She and her husband, Pat, both born in Renfrew, have six children and 11 grandchildren. Maureen worked for her local Member of Parliament for 18 years and retired in 1992. She does volunteer work for her church and local hospital. Maureen loves miniature schnauzers and is waiting for a new one to arrive. About the Assembly, Maureen says: "I think there is a need for reform and I hope to find out that there are people out there who agree with that."



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Sarnia — Lambton

James (Jim) PassinghamJames (Jim) Passingham was born and raised in Sarnia but has travelled both coasts of Canada. He and his wife Debbie have three children, three grandchildren and a fourth on the way. Jim is a former shop teacher and used to sing and play rhythm guitar for his country western band. Now an entrepreneur, he runs a used car lot and a lottery outlet which Debbie operates. They enjoy camping and recently bought a used motor home which they will use to travel around south-western Ontario. Jim says he has time to devote to something and “the Citizens’ Assembly seems like an interesting adventure.”


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Sault Ste. Marie

David ViitaliaDavid Viitala grew up in Sault Ste. Marie, but has travelled across Canada and to parts of Europe, including Finland, Amsterdam and Paris. He is working on his B.A. in psychology, and is a summer student-marketing assistant with The Canadian Hearing Society, where he also volunteers. David’s hobbies include photography, skiing – both downhill and cross country – and he plays the clarinet. He says the Citizens’ Assembly is exciting because “it is important for youth to become involved in politics... the better we understand how our country runs, the better we as citizens can contribute.”


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Scarborough — Agincourt

Catherine Oi Lun ShumCatherine Oi Lun Shum of Scarborough was born and raised in Hong Kong and came to Canada in 1996. She is a financial analyst with a major financial services corporation. She also serves on the executive committee of her school alumni association in Toronto. Catherine's favourite past-times include tai-chi, snorkelling, swimming and travelling. She has travelled extensively across North America, Europe and Australasia. She is interested in learning about other electoral systems and says it "feels good to know that you can make a difference and help make something better."


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Scarborough Centre

Donna TichonchukDonna Tichonchuk was born and raised in Toronto, and loved growing up in the Swansea area.  Of her travels, Donna says her favourite spot is Vancouver but her favourite vacation was a Mediterranean cruise “with the kids.”  She and her husband, Michael, have been married for 28 years.  They have a son, Andrew, and twins, Laura and Kevin.  Donna describes her life as “family, friends, music, books and movies.”   Donna volunteers on school councils, for her community association and works hard to keep her neighbourhood clean.  She says the Assembly “is an exciting, important adventure,” and she is happy to “have an opportunity to have an impact on the way things are done.”

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Scarborough East


Monica WappelMonica Wappel of Scarborough is drawn to “fresh new ideas” and sees the Citizens’ Assembly as one of them. She is particularly interested in “how to engage younger people in the political process.” Monica is the eldest of five children and wants to thank her mom for her support and encouragement. She speaks seven languages and works as a freelance translator. She has travelled widely (93 countries!), but Honduras, where she taught village children to read and write Spanish and English, is her favourite place. Monica enjoys reading, writing poetry, martial arts, skiing and learning new languages and about other cultures.


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Scarborough — Rouge River

Al JosephAl Joseph of Scarborough was born in Toronto and has also lived in Vancouver. He is happily married and has two kids—a girl 18 and a boy 17. Al trained in Travel and Tourism, and Web Development. He is currently going to college full-time to complete a Human Resources Management program. Al has many hobbies, including cake decorating, gardening, reading, learning about Canada's vast history, and listening to music. He is "proud to serve" on the Citizens' Assembly: "Whether change happens or not, I want to be part of the process."

 


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Scarborough Southwest

Elton PintoElton Pinto came to Canada from Dubai in 1996 and now lives in Scarborough. He has a sister who is a chartered accountant, lives with his parents and describes his family as “very, very close knit.” A senior application developer with a major bank, Elton belongs to a go-karting league in Brampton. He and his girlfriend Melanie have been dating for two years. He is an avid sportsman playing badminton, basketball, soccer and tennis. He describes himself as “very competitive.” Elton wants to be involved in the Citizens’ Assembly to “give back to the community,” and says he’s “really excited” about the process.


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Simcoe — Grey

Elaine PommerElaine Pommer was born in Woodstock. She became a teacher and moved to Linwood where she met and married Bob.  She spent three years in Sudbury where her two sons Eric and Craig were born.  They've lived in the Collingwood area for the last 31 years.  Elaine is a retired teacher who still does supply work because she "enjoys working with children so much."  She thinks the Assembly is "a wonderful opportunity to meet people from all areas of the province and hear their stories."  She enjoys spending time at the cottage where she can kayak, snorkel and take walks with her cockapoo, Taffy.


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Simcoe North

Georgette AmadioGeorgette Amadio was born in Windsor and has lived in Toronto, Vancouver Island, Nova Scotia and Trenton due to her husband’s career in the Canadian Armed Forces. Georgette and her husband, now retired, moved to Coldwater to be near their parents. Married for 34 years, Georgette has a son who lives in Lindsay and a daughter in Nelson, B.C. Georgette was a night auditor—the person responsible for billing in a hotel—but now keeps busy with “homemaker duties” including gardening, caring for her beloved Bouvier and “keeping tabs” on her nieces and nephews. She thinks the Assembly “is a great way to help everyone in Ontario.”

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St. Catharines

Ronald (Ron) GreenRonald (Ron) Green has lived in St. Catharines almost all his life. He will be retiring soon from his job as a city building inspector. Ron was a captain in the reserve army for 30 years and is very involved in his community. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus, a board member for St. John’s Ambulance, president of the 10 th Battery Association and a member of the Royal Niagara Military Institute. He sees the Citizens’ Assembly as an opportunity “to assist and continue to serve the general public.” Ron enjoys slo-pitch baseball and riding motorcycles.



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St. Paul ’s

Rick SmithRick Smith was born in Toronto and has lived his whole life there with the exception of three years in Vancouver. He met his wife Claudia (who is from Panama) while vacationing in Rome. They celebrated their second wedding anniversary on the day of the selection meeting. Rick is a Senior Vice President of Information Technology for an international insurance broker. In his free time, he enjoys traveling (especially to Panama and Rome!), cycling and photography. Rick says that helping his wife through the immigration process got him interested in how government works. "I want to see what I can do to help the electoral process."


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Stoney Creek

Susan (Sue) TileySusan (Sue) Tiley of Grimsby has lived in the Golden Horseshoe all her life. She and John, her husband of 37 years, share a home that is over 100 years old. They have a son, Morgan, and daughter, Shane, and two granddaughters, Angie and Abby. Sue spends a lot of time with 4-year-old Angie: "she teaches me a lot of things and keeps me on my toes." A retired computer programmer and information technology manager, Sue is busier than ever with woodworking classes, French polishing antique furniture, gardening, painting, renovating her home and keeping fit. She thought the Citizens' Assembly would be an interesting, fun and unique experience.

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Stormont — Dundas — Charlottenburgh

David ProulxDavid Proulx was born and raised in Cornwall.  A licensed master plumber, David is the handyman of choice amongst his family and friends.  He has five children, two young boys and three teenaged girls who keep him very busy.  A devoted husband and father, much of his spare time is spent attending his sons’ lacrosse games, driving his daughters to their various social engagements, or just relaxing with his wife, Shelley.  When asked about the Citizen’s Assembly he says he is “excited about the whole process” and is looking forward to, “being part of history.”


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Sudbury

Christine RobertChristine Robert was born in Barrie but grew up in Sudbury where she still lives and manages a busy household. She is the second of five siblings with a brother and two sisters in Sudbury and another brother in Abbotsford, B.C. Christine enjoys swimming, long walks to the beach with her dog, Thunder, reading, easy rock music, shopping, and spending time with friends and family. Christine says she wants to join the Assembly "to be a voice for citizens who don't have one."

 



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Thornhill

Paul LitowitzPaul Litowitz of Thornhill was born in Toronto.  He has one brother, one sister and a cocker spaniel named Tammy.  Paul is finishing a Master's of Business Administration and working in the health industry.  He enjoys hockey, soccer, rock climbing and reading.  He loves to travel and has spent time in parts of Europe, South America and the US.  Paul has lived in North York, Thornhill, Guelph and Windsor and says he is looking forward to "representing our province and being part of the Citizens' Assembly process."

 


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Thunder Bay — Atikokan

Nuala WieckowskiNuala Wieckowski , a lifelong resident of Thunder Bay, lives in the countryside, which she describes as “peaceful and beautiful.” She and her partner, Jason, have three children, Jeremy, Kianna and Madison. Nuala is currently on maternity leave from her position as a legal secretary, and says her life is “very much about family and children.” Nuala enjoys family outings, fishing and reading. She is happy to be a part of the Citizens’ Assembly because she is “very interested in learning about the electoral process.”

 


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Thunder Bay — Superior North

Pamela PattersonPamela Patterson was born and raised in Collingwood and lived in Wasaga Beach for about six years before moving to Thunder Bay with her husband, Brian. Currently working as a guest services representative at a hotel, Pamela obtained a diploma in Police Foundations and various awards for her achievements. She is actively involved in community policing as a volunteer and plans to embark on a career in policing after the Citizens' Assembly process. She believes the Assembly is a "great learning experience" and is "honoured to represent the citizens" in her area. Pamela has two dogs - Cruiser and Swiffer - and enjoys reading, playing baseball and going to the gym.

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Timiskaming-Cochrane

Harold (Hal) WillisHarold (Hal) Willis was born in Niagara and has spent most of his life in northern Ontario. He recently moved to Iroquois Falls from Parry Sound with Dianne, his wife of 24 years. Semi-retired, Hal says he’d like to work as a supply teacher. He describes himself as “a news and information junkie” and thinks Ontario’s electoral system “should be looked at.” Hal followed the B.C. process and says he’s “very much looking forward” to getting started. He enjoys golf, all things outdoors and is a big football fan.

 


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Timmins — James Bay

Lise BretonLise Breton of Mattice has lived in the Hearst area her whole life. She has been married for 46 years and has five grown children and ten grandchildren. Lise is retired from a 37-year career as an elementary school teacher and principal and says “this is the right time” for her to participate on the Assembly. In the future, she might like to get involved in local politics, “behind the scenes,” but for now, is excited to learn more about electoral systems. When selected, she said she felt like she had won a million dollars. Lise keeps busy tending her beautiful flower garden, sewing, and fundraising for her parish and community centre.


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Toronto Centre — Rosedale

Mayte DarraidouMayte Darraidou is a newlywed who is proudly Basque. She loves travelling and has visited many places, including Thailand, Switzerland, Mexico and Scandinavia. Born in Guelph, Mayte was raised in Montreal and lives in Toronto with her husband, Ryan, and their cat, Geo. Mayte started out as an electrical engineer but went back to teacher's college. She teaches civics in a French immersion program in Toronto.She says she thinks the Assembly is "an opportunity to participate in a historical first in Ontario" and is looking forward to sharing what she learns with her students.

 

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Toronto — Danforth

Ekaterini TraikosEkaterini Traikos of Toronto was born in Greece and came to Canada when she was 12. She is married to Nick and they have two daughters, 22 and 18, and a son who is 15. Ekaterini studied Early Childhood Education and runs her own home-based daycare. She has been involved in school fundraising and enjoys cooking and outdoor activities, including swimming, picnics and kids’ soccer. Ekaterini wanted to be a part of the Citizens’ Assembly so she could “speak up and be heard” and saw it as an opportunity “to connect with the community.”

 


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Trinity — Spadina

Garth NicholsGarth Nichols grew up in the Beach and still lives in Toronto. He was in British Columbia when the BC Citizens' Assembly was underway, so to be involved in the Ontario Citizens' Assembly is like "winning a lotto," he says. Garth has always voted and is interested in the process of making "voting more appealing to voters." Garth is a high school teacher and rowing coach - a role he is well qualified for as he was on his university rowing team. He has volunteered at Camp Oochigeas and at Fashion Cares, a fundraiser for the AIDS Committee of Toronto. Garth is getting married in July 2006.


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Vaughan — King — Aurora

John RestonJohn Reston was born in Vancouver, B.C. and lives in Aurora.  He and Gerry Lapointe have been married for 49 years and have four children (a daughter and three sons); and seven grandchildren.  John says he was interested in taking part in the Assembly because he "wanted to make a worthwhile contribution to the community."  A friend from his days at the University of British Columbia was on the BC Citizens' Assembly.  John is a retired business owner, an avid golfer and a member of a local golf club.  He and Gerry enjoy family gatherings, travel, and spending time maintaining and improving their grounds and gardens.


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Waterloo — Wellington

Bill RitzBill Ritz , a long-time resident of New Hamburg, says it's a "wonderful" place to live and raise children. He and his wife Kathryn have two sons, Joe (23) and Jake (19). Bill and Kathryn own and operate a printing business. The Ritz family have been printers in New Hamburg for four generations, going back to 1855. The office is within walking distance from home which means Jenny, their Jack Russell terrier, often accompanies them to work. Bill loves travel, snorkelling, fishing and reading. About the Assembly, Bill says he looks forward to learning about the process and is "excited to see where the Assembly's recommendations might take Ontario."

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Whitby — Ajax

Edward (Ted) SavelleEdward (Ted) Savelle was born in Stratford, Ontario and has lived in Whitby for 22 years with his wife Joan. They have two sons and one daughter. The Savelles have their own business, designing space-saving furniture for condominiums. Ted previously worked in the not-for-profit sector, including positions with the Canadian Red Cross Society and the Canadian Diabetes Association. He loves to travel and enjoys all kinds of outdoor activities: walking, swimming, golf, camping, skiing and ice fishing. Ted once worked as an election poll supervisor and heard criticisms of the electoral process. He believes the Citizens' Assembly is "a chance to do something that will potentially improve people's perceptions of the process."

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Willowdale

Bryan Byong-Kuon KimBryan Byong-Kuon Kim has always considered “civic participation to be very important,” and is “concerned about the lack of participation in the political process.” Originally from Korea, Bryan came to Canada in 1969 and has lived in the Toronto area ever since. He’s been married for 40 years and has two grown children and two grandchildren. A semi-retired realtor, Bryan enjoyed playing golf until the mid-80s, but then became too busy with volunteer activities to find time for the game. For the past three decades, he’s devoted most of his time to supporting charitable organizations like the United Way of Greater Toronto and the National Harmony Movement.

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Windsor — St.Clair

Mary Jane McMullenMary Jane McMullen was born in Windsor and has a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Windsor. She is the middle child of five sisters, has a son Aron and husband Cyril Lane. She's been a research assistant for the last 18 years. She's traveled Canada from coast to coast; last year's adventure was a road trip through northeast Thailand and northern Laos. She enjoys hiking and birding at Point Pelee, and motorcycle riding in Vermont and New Hampshire. She felt it was her "civic duty" to join the Assembly and wants "to be part of this historic process."


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Windsor West

Marisa SquizzatoMarisa Squizzato was born in Italy, where she completed an accounting program before coming to Canada in 1968 as part of her efforts to improve her fluency in English.  She fell in love with the country and decided to make it her home.  Marisa is "pleased to be able to learn about electoral systems and provide whatever assistance" she can "during this historic process."  Her husband retired last year.  She's the finance supervisor at a centre that provides assistance to people who are unemployed or under-employed, but is currently on leave caring for her elderly parents.  She enjoys reading and gardening and is a proud first-time grandmother.

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York Centre

Thomas (Tom) RicciThomas (Tom) Ricci of Toronto is a strategic sourcing specialist for integrated global systems procurement for a global IT company. He is married and has three daughters. Thomas is a former member of the 818 Squadron Royal Canadian Air Cadet and continues to fly. He is president and founder of Club Frecce Tricolori of North America, No 109 which promotes aviation-related activities. Thomas was the first chairman of the organization representing the community’s views in the development of the Downsview parklands. He is interested in the Citizens' Assembly process because he feels people, especially youth, need an "incentive to participate and vote" and "there's got to be a better way.”

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York North

Edmund JamesEdmund James of East Gwillimbury was born in Germany, of Ukrainian and White Russian/Polish parents (forced-labourers), but came to Canada with his mother when he was a little over a year old. A producer and writer, Edmund is working on his second novel "Nomads, Warriors and Shamans." He started an entertainment company with a director/producer partner, and is involved in his family's business too. Edmund says the Assembly "is fascinating," and an educational experience, that will allow him to assist the community in a small way. He is looking forward to answering questions like "Does it work?" and "Can it be improved?"

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York South — Weston

William Kwegyir-AggreyWilliam Kwegyir-Aggrey of Toronto was born in Ghana and was arrested during the coup for voicing his opinion that “democracy is much better than military rule.” He came to Canada in 1988 and studied negotiation and mediation at York University. He now works for a pharmaceutical company. Given his experience in his home country, William has developed a profound interest in democracy. He says he is proud to be involved in the Citizens’ Assembly, and has always wanted to help educate people about government and the benefits of voting. William is especially interested in encouraging youth to participate in the political process. “We are part of society and we ought to contribute to it.”

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York West

Nathan Duru-ObisiNathan Duru-Obisi , of North York, was born in Nigeria and received degrees from universities in Regina and Oklahoma. He and his wife Rosaline have two boys and a girl, with a fourth child on the way. Nathan says he is “delighted” to be part of the Assembly to improve his “political understanding of the way things are done and to address apathy in the electoral process.” He was a banker for nine years during which he held management positions including credit administration and branch manager. Nathan loves football, soccer and singing hymns. He was involved in updating the electors’ list for the last federal election and served as a Deputy Returning Officer in York West.

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