Shortlist (30 and over)

Shortlist (30 and over)

Farrah Marfatia

 

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Farrah Marfatia of Mississauga, Ontario was nominated by Sanaa Ali-Mohammed:

Farrah Marfatia is an educator, activist and innovator with a passion for youth success and community driven change. Farrah has brought a number of unconventional programs to independent alternative schools,including the Kairos Blanket Exercise, led by Canadian Roots Exchange, and‘Healing, Hope and Art’, an art therapy workshop that helps young Canadian Muslims cope with bullying, exclusion, and racism. She has also been at the forefront of community roundtables that help parents as they grapple with Islamophobia and Bill C-51, to name a few, and volunteered on an NDP federal election campaign in 2015.  

In addition to surviving life with two exuberant boys and a well-intentioned husband, Farrah mentors youth in the community,giving them the opportunity to experiment with leadership, ideas and projects, and is on the steering committee for DawaNet’s Project Civic Engagement.  

Farrah has worked on a number of other initiatives,including a nationwide federal election debate for Muslim youth, and the National Council of Canadian Muslims’ #StrongerTogetherCa campaign, all aimed at improving the strength of democracy in Canada. Most recently, Farrah was part of a delegation at the Couchiching Conference, to discuss how Muslim Canadians can shape the country as part of the ‘Our Canada Project’.

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Juror Carmen Aguirre says: "Farrah is a mother, educator, activist, and innovator who volunteers her time by organizing art therapy workshops for young Canadian Muslims coping with bullying, racism and exclusion, and roundtable discussions for parents dealing with Islamophobia and Bill C-51. She has volunteered with the NDP and worked on a nationwide federal election debate for Muslim youth. For all these reasons, Farrah exemplifies the qualities of an Everyday Political Citizen."

Shanta Sundarason

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Shanta Sundarason of Unionville, Ontario was nominated by Masood Mohajer:

Shanta has been the brightest star and the biggest everyday political citizen that Markham could ask for. She has spent months of her time and energy getting the City of Markham to agree to stop the horns of the GO Train. She must have knocked on over 1000 doors to get signatures for her petition and many visits to the City Council — she won the battle! She took 20 of the kids that she mentors from her Social Justice group to petition council to prevent a ban on skating that they were initiating on our local pond. A tradition that has been ongoing for decades. They won! She closed a brothel down in our village within 4 days — a task that our local councillor said was complicated and would take months. She runs The Giving Tree Unionville and mentors 30 kids to empower them to become positive change makers. She hosts community events that help establish greater inclusivity and understanding amongst our neighbours and is a huge human rights activist. Her desire and passion is to see the current government step up to the table and truly create equality amongst our Indigenous families. There is no stopping her!


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Juror Hussein Allidina says: "My vote for Shanta was motivated by the diversity of her passion and her dedication to see it through. In addition to one off efforts, her continuous involvement underscores a desire and want to give back to her community."

Peter Oliver

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Peter Oliver of Calgary, Alberta was nominated by Nancy Close:

Sometimes there are moments in time that you remember so clearly; in this case, political campaign changing moments that just stick with you for all the right heart and mind reasons.Like the moment that Peter Oliver sat across from me and pitched letting him initiate an email to the list that I used for the 2010 Naheed Nenshi Mayoral campaign volunteers inviting them to a secret overnight operation.I don’t think I even blinked when I said yes. I didn’t know the details of his most wonderful innovative guerrilla advertising campaign using over a hundred volunteers, at short notice, to write campaign messages across the city using sidewalk chalk. And, ever since that day, Peter has been creating ‘moments’ that bring people together in support of making a difference. Whether it is coalescing community and business supporters to advocate for more affordable housing options through Calgarians for Secondary Suites or organizing a groundswell and through the engaging Calgarians for Cycle Tracks campaign in support of Calgary’s City Council approving piloting a cycle-track network, I am not sure where he finds the time but Peter has also developed into a expert strategic political campaigner supporting progressive political candidates’ campaigns at each order of government. And, he continues to support awareness of the importance of cycling in a city by showcasing that it is everyday ordinary Calgarians that use their bikes to get around Calgary through a People on Bikes YYC bike portrait and street photography campaign. AND, he has stepped up front and centre with his most recent volunteer initiative as a co-founder of a new community association that is fostering a greater sense of community within his urban neighbourhood. Peter is tireless in his advocacy and efforts in support of making our community even better. For me, he is the Every Day Political citizen that I am so blessed and proud to know.Juror Luke Anderson says: "Increasing quality of life in communities and making the places where we live, work, and play more enriching requires innovative and creative approaches to advocacy. I was energized after reading Peter Oliver's nomination and thoroughly enjoyed learning about his successful and exciting city building campaigns that continue to make Calgary a better place for everyone. He makes it happen with a fresh and bold approach to advocacy that rallies community and political engagement, therefore I believe Peter represents a true everyday political citizen." 

 

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Juror Luke Anderson says: "Increasing quality of life in communities and making the places where we live, work, and play more enriching requires innovative and creative approaches to advocacy. I was energized after reading Peter Oliver's nomination and thoroughly enjoyed learning about his successful and exciting city building campaigns that continue to make Calgary a better place for everyone. He makes it happen with a fresh and bold approach to advocacy that rallies community and political engagement, therefore I believe Peter represents a true everyday political citizen." 

Alethea Arnaquq-Baril


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Alethea Arnaquq-Baril of Iqaluit, Nunavut was nominated by Taha Tabish:

An award-winning documentary filmmaker and a social justice warrior, Alethea Arnaquq-Baril is the ideal candidate for the Everyday Political Citizen. Her latest film, “Angry Inuk”, spotlights the injustice and economic collapse brought about by global anti-sealing campaigns to Inuit communities across the North. Alethea is also very engaged at the local level, advocating for education and language rights, organizing political discourse and dialogue, and working every day to make things better for her fellow community members in Iqaluit, across Nunavut, and around the circumpolar North. And despite all these battles she is helping to fight, running into Alethea around town always includes a bright smile on her face and genuine words of support and encouragement.

 

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Juror Margaret Atwood says: "I nominate Alethea Arnaquq-Baril for bravely opening the door to a conversation that needs to happen."


 

Bee Lee Soh

 

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Bee Lee Soh of Toronto, Ontario was nominated by Anna Kim:

As an everyday political citizen, ‘Be[e] the Change’ might best capture Bee Lee Soh’s contribution to strengthening Canada’s democracy. Bee has worked tirelessly at the grassroots level to work for socioeconomic equity which is an essential part of Canada’s democracy. She has taken part in the public consultations that form the foundations of Toronto’s Poverty Reduction Strategy; she has deputed at City Hall on issues such as the importance of good, affordable housing; Bee also works on behalf of Commitment2Community to ensure issues are heard by decision-makers and that community members are informed about key issues such as transit equity and funding for social programs. As well, Bee actively supports neighbourhood networks such as the Steeles L’Amoreaux Strength in Partnership to ensure community programs reflect issues facing residents such as food security, health and resident engagement. Be[e] the Change. Her actions remind us of what drives a democracy.
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Jurors of the Parliamentary Internship Programme say: "We are delighted to celebrate Bee Lee Soh as an EPC nominee! Your advocacy and grassroots work serve as excellent examples of the community connectivity that is vital in a democracy. By bridging the gap between decision-makers and the citizens they serve, you are making government more responsive and responsible. Congratulations Bee Lee!"

Bianca Wylie


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Bianca Wylie of Toronto, Ontario was nominated by Meghan Hellstern:

Bianca is a passionate, tireless advocate dedicated to equipping those around her to make change in their communities. Through her work with the Open Data Institute Toronto, her writing for Torontoist, and her organizing of Civic Tech Toronto, civic engagement and education through data and technology are the constant themes of her work.   

Most recently she pulled off an incredible hackathon focused on Toronto’s poverty reduction strategy, one of several recent collaborations with the Toronto Public Library. Other events that Bianca has co-organized and supported include the 2014 Bike Share hackathon, the 2015 Accessibility Camp hackathon, and various data literacy workshops. She’s also an active open data advocate at both the federal and provincial levels. It’s my supreme pleasure and honour to nominate Bianca as a true everyday political citizen, someone dedicated to making democracy more accessible at scales both deeply individual as well as system-wide.
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Juror Radha Curpen says: "I was particularly impressed with Bianca Wylie and her extensive background in fostering civic engagement through community education and technology. She is a strong advocate for making civic data publicly available so that citizens and governments alike have access to the information they need to build stronger and more efficient communities. Specifically, I would point you to her work with the Open Data Institute (supporting the use of open data in public policy, civic education and political engagement), her recurring civic tech column for Torontoist (discussing how the use of open data and civic tech can serve the public good), and her organizing with Civic Tech Toronto."

Carol Todd

 

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Carol Todd of Port Coquitlam, British Columbia was nominated by Ron McKinnon, MP for Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam:

Carol Todd is an outstanding individual who turned adversity into strength, not only for herself, but for her community. Carol suffered a tremendous loss when her daughter Amanda took her own life. However, she channeled this into an initiative that aims to educate the public on mental health and bullying while supporting those who are currently suffering from either issue. The Amanda Todd Legacy is an organization that is truly changing the youth perspective of mental health and bullying in Canada.


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Juror Andrew Ference says: "Carol Todd of Port Coquitlam, BC, is my nominee for the 2016 Everyday Political Citizen. This fantastic woman suffered an unimaginable loss when her young daughter Amanda took her own life after being cyber bullied and harassed. Carol has not only shared her story to shine a light on this serious issue but she has also started the Amanda Todd Legacy organization that is helping youth dealing with mental health issues and bullying in Canada. I not only nominate Carol but applaud her for her bravery and determination to confront this important work."

Juror Ilene Sova says: "I have chosen Carol Todd because I find her passionate work on cyber-bullying to be extremely inspiring. She has created a strong legacy in memory of her daughter by working tirelessly to change how we interact in our online communities!"

Samantha Green


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Samantha Green of Toronto, Ontario was nominated by Danyaal Raza:


Samantha Green is a family physician at St. Michael’s Hospital and Inner City Health Associates. She also teaches a graduate level course on “Political, Social, And Scientific Aspects Of Primary Care” at the University of Toronto. Her actions as an Everyday Political Citizen extend far beyond her professional responsibilities. Most recently, she has been campaigning to extend dental care to all Ontarians and is an active member of Health Providers Against Poverty, a group that engages health providers and people living in poverty in social and political change. Dr. Green is also an avid cyclist and active member of Cycle Toronto, working to promote safe and healthy active transport for all. Sam is a tireless advocate for health and without doubt, and an Everyday Political Citizen worthy of recognition.

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Juror Jonathan Kay says: "What I loved about Dr. Samantha Green as a nominee is that she spends much of her life doing real, practical things to make life more bearable for some of the most marginalized members of our society—and she does it away from the limelight, providing primary medical care for Toronto patients who are homeless and/or addicted to drugs. If more Canadian medical professionals had her selfless attitude, imagine how much healthier Canadian society would be."

Naomi Sayers

 

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Naomi Sayers of Ottawa, Ontario was nominated by Jesse Helmer, City Councillor:

Naomi Sayers is a 2017 Juris Doctor Candidate at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law. Originally from Garden River First Nation, she moved to London, Ontario when she was twenty years old. While in London, Naomi began advocating for sex workers’ right to live and work safely and she founded the South Western Ontario Sex Workers group. This group helped bring the voices of sex workers to the public sphere in the South Western Ontario region.  

Naomi tackles tough issues, speaks truth to power, and advocates for her sex working community at national and international levels. She writes at www.kwetoday.com, identifies as a fierce indigenous feminist, and ensures the most vulnerable voices are centered in decisions affecting their lives. As a co-creator of Between The Lines (www.btllaw21.com), a public legal education initiative, she is an everyday political citizen by ensuring her community and other citizens with shared experiences have the tools to fight against systemic oppression and increasing criminalization.


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Juror Andrew McIntyre says: “I’m pleased to nominate Naomi Sayers for Samara's Everyday Political Citizen! While reading her nomination, I was impressed by Naomi’s work and by the many examples of her everyday leadership. Naomi describes herself as a ‘fierce indigenous feminist’ and as Canada continues to work towards reconciliation, I believe that fierce, indigenous feminism has an extremely important role to play. Naomi’s personal story is inspiring. I have no doubt that her advocacy is empowering the many communities she is a part of by challenging stigmas and ensuring dignity for all Canadians. I believe that Naomi has much to teach Canada about becoming a more inclusive, understanding country.”