Mary Ann understands affordable housing from the perspective of a landlord and as a supporter and fundraiser for Indwell – an organization that provides Homes and Hope for people with mental health challenges. 80% of Canadians live in an urban environment. The best urban spaces are people-centered. London’s Wortley Village is a great example of such a neighbourhood.

A place where you can get groceries, go to a coffee shop and work, all without having to get in your car. A mixed-use neighbourhood, with a range of housing density, where 10-12 storey residential buildings are not overbearing, but increase density enough to enable more affordable services like public transit and cycling paths.

Adding more single family housing to the perimeter of the city provides more supply, but does not solve many of the other housing issues that make London a great city. Today’s housing issues are complex and climate justice includes addressing the lack of affordable rental units and access for apartment dwellers to green space.

Are you tired of politics that is more about being in power, than solving the important issues of the day? Mary Ann has experience working in collaboration and cooperation with other groups and believes the way to reduce political polarization is to find common ground and work together.

Until we change the first-past-the-post electoral system, we will see our politics become more polarized, wasting money on elections rather than services.  Changing our political system will be complex, which is why you cannot just ask someone what they would like to see instead. 

Mary Ann supports the Green Party’s call to establish a Citizen’s Assembly – a diverse group of Canadians from many political backgrounds that can become educated about the different possibilities and work together to make a recommendation to Canadians, and then educate Canadians on the alternative through an intensive media/education campaign which can then be put to a referendum. Everyone knows what First-Past-The-Post looks like, they need a similar understanding of what an alternative could look like.  One system that has received accolades is Ranked Ballot. 

London was an innovator in the last municipal election.  Other countries, like Germany for example, have found great collaborations happen with Proportional Representation.  How many people vote against someone, instead of FOR someone?  How many people live in a riding where they feel their vote doesn’t change anything. Canada can do better to ensure everyone’s vote matters.

Mary Ann is committed to climate action. After the City of London declared a climate emergency in 2019, Mary Ann established Climate Action London to help Londoners engage in a variety of climate actions. Governments of the past have failed Canadians. They have failed to listen to the scientists and now actions will be more difficult and expensive.

We have seen with Covid, that when government listens to science, they can make the hard decisions and gain the support of Canadians. Governments have failed to educate Canadians on the risks of not taking greater climate action. Like the oil and gas industry that has suppressed information for decades, the Canadian government has become too dependent on the income from fossil fuels and not invested in developing new green industries that could have made Canada a leading in clean technology.

The time for gradual change has passed. Systems change means looking at every decision through a climate lens. We have lived as if the abundance of the Earth is limitless. I will work to move Canada toward a more circular economy that generates less waste by renewing resources, not depleting them and to preserve nature’s role in stabilizing our climate and supporting our mental health.

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