2017 EPC Nominee: Naheed Khan

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Everyday Political Citizen Tuesday, October 24, 2017 View Count = 1216

2017 EPC Nominee: Naheed Khan

Naheed EPC

Naheed Khan of Ottawa, ON, was nominated by Tammy Corner

In 2010, Naheed Khan and her four children came to Canada after fleeing an abusive marriage in Pakistan.  In Canada, Naheed connected with other new Canadians and people across diverse cultures.  Here she also found many opportunities as a woman and a proud Muslim.   Naheed is a terrific mom who lovingly supports the development of her children. While she is grateful for the possibilities and safety that Canada provides, she faces struggles as a single mother living on a low income.

Having a low income makes it difficult for Naheed to afford monthly rent and purchase food, which is very stressful.  Naheed receives a monthly Ontario Disabilities Support Program allowance and lives in a small private rental apartment while waiting for subsidized housing which could be five or more years from now.  Her current income allows her to rent a small two-bedroom apartment where she shares a bedroom with her son and daughter and one son sleeps on the floor of one room too small for a bed. 

These challenges led Naheed on a path towards being a politically engaged citizen with an aim to alter the difficult circumstances within which she found herself.  As a first step, Naheed participated in many local training initiatives which support capacity building of marginalized residents in Ottawa.  These trainings increased Naheed’s confidence and understanding of her neighbours, different levels of government and the broader Canadian society.   As a result, she became involved in her neighbourhood where she volunteers regularly helping with the local food bank and community-based programs such as cooking for local low income seniors.  She also now babysits to make extra money to cover basic living expenses.  

Though shy by nature, Naheed became a committed advocate for low income residents and began working with organizations and City decision makers so as to increase their understanding of the lives of people living in poverty in order to bring about change.   For example, she worked with the Making Voices Count project to increase the voter turnout rate amongst marginalized communities.  This included Naheed promoting voting at elections with her friends and neighbours by sharing information, hosting election discussions and taking people to vote so as to increase their participation in elections.  Naheed was also involved in the OHIP for All campaign and has presented to Ottawa City Council on several occasions for affordable housing and transportation.  In 2016, she worked extensively with the Ottawa Healthy Transportation coalition and Making Voices Count project playing a central role in a campaign which successfully secured a low-income transit pass for Ottawa residents.  

Naheed works hard to provide for her family, to model citizenship and influence decision makers to positively impact her family’s future and the lives of her low-income neighbours.   She has been a mentor and an example to her neighbours and peers, inspiring other residents, new Canadians and women to use their voice to create positive local change.  Through Naheed’s political citizenship leadership our City is becoming increasingly inclusive and responsive to the needs of all its Citizens. 

Do you know an #EPCitizen like Naheed?
Nominate them today!


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Samara's Everyday Political Citizen celebrates positive political role models and builds a culture of positive politics in Canada. Conducted coast-to-coast-to-coast, the contest aims to recognize the rich diversity of politics and democracy in Canada, crowdsourcing hundreds of nominations from Canadians like you. Read more about Everyday Political Citizen, see more nominations, or submit your own nomination.

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