Meet Annamie, nomination candidate
I am a lawyer, social entrepreneur, and public policy advocate dedicated to promoting a sustainable and inclusive future for Canadians. I founded and was the Executive Director of the Canadian Centre for Political Leadership (CCPL), a non-profit that trained women, LGBTQ+, Indigenous and racialised peoples to run for elected office. I am very proud that former CCPL trainees, including Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam, are now serving their communities in elected roles. More recently, I co-founded and co-directed the Barcelona International Public Policy Hub (BIPP HUB), an innovation hub that supports international NGOs working on global challenges.
I have more than 15 years of experience in international affairs and external relations, including as the Brussels/EU Director for Crisis Action, a leading conflict prevention NGO; Advisor in the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court; and as a Political Officer in Canada’s Mission to the European Union.
I serve on the Board and advise a number of non-profit organisations, including Climate Infrastructure Partnership (CLIP), Higher Education Alliance for Refugees (HEAR), Institute for Integrated Transitions (IFIT) and Operation Black Vote Canada (OBVC). I have been a member of the Steering Committee for Equal Voice Canada and have published articles and policy papers on social inclusion and representation in Canadian politics.
I was born and raised in Toronto, and am an inaugural Action Canada Fellow, an Echoing Green Fellow for social entrepreneurship alumni and a recipient of the Canadian Black Business and Professional Association Harry Jerome Award. I am a lawyer (Ontario) and hold a Master of Public Affairs from Princeton University and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Ottawa. I speak English, French, Catalan and Spanish.
What is your connection to Toronto Centre?
I was born in Toronto Centre (pre-2015 boundaries) and my bonds of family and friendship run deep in the riding. My mother taught for years at a variety of primary schools in Toronto Centre and my grandmother worked as a nurse’s aide in Toronto Centre hospitals. Over the years, I have studied at George Brown College and Ryerson University and worked as a professional in the riding. As an activist working on social inclusion and political representation, my training and workshops were often delivered in Toronto Centre’s community spaces.
Could you talk about your previous political experiences?
I have been around politics and advocacy most of my life. I understood from an early age that people needed to actively work towards the positive change that they wanted to see in their community.
My first memories consist of being a child holding my mother’s hand at teachers’ rallies. As a teenager, I sought every opportunity to immerse myself in the political process, working as a Page in the Ontario Legislature, and later in the Senate of Canada and as an Ontario Legislature Intern.
As a young professional, I dedicated myself to transforming the Canadian political landscape by working to increase the representation of marginalised groups in elected office. I have been deeply involved in non-partisan politics, including delivering public speeches, running large-scale trainings and conducting policy research. I have encountered and cooperated with political parties and senior political figures at the highest levels of government.
Until recently, my charitable work required me to remain non-partisan, and I am proud that the Green Party of Canada is the very first political party that I have joined.
In your opinion, what are the top three issues in Toronto Centre?
The issues that preoccupy Toronto Centre residents are the same issues that concern many Canadians. We want to live with dignity and security and with hopefulness about the future of those we care about. In order to achieve this, Toronto Centre residents need our federal government to deliver the following:
Income security: Toronto Centre residents have a right to a living wage and freedom from precarious employment. Newly arrived Canadians deserve to have their skills and credentials recognised in a meaningful way and a genuine fast-track to employment in their fields. Young Canadians should have confidence that fulfilling and adequately paid work is within their reach.
A healthy community: Toronto Centre deserves the same level of services as other areas in Toronto so that our community can have the same quality of life. Toronto Centre needs significant investment in transportation, affordable housing, health and community services. The federal government must be a partner in delivering this investment.
A healthy planet: While we all suffer from the effects of climate change, low income communities suffer the most. As one of the most economically deprived communities in the city, Toronto Centre residents are particularly at risk. The federal government needs to adopt an ambitious Climate Action Plan. Toronto Centre residents deserve clean air, abundant green spaces and investment in green infrastructure.
I would love to hear from voters anytime! They can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org