We need more engaged citizens so that we can have less politicians making the decisions.
At least that is what I believe.
Even though I am involved in politics, I don't view myself as a politician. Rather, politics is something I do as well as everything else and believe that you and everyone else should do the same. Politics is not just about voting, though that is a very very important part. It is about listening the opinions and issues of others and finding away to work toward a common ground.
I was born and raised in Abbotsford, the eldest of five siblings. I pursued studies to become a teacher, an artist/musician and a business owner before settling on urban planning as the career choice where I could make the most significant and lasting contribution to my community.
As my resume shows my work experience is wide and varied. I set high standards for myself and expects those around him to do the same and I pride myself on being knowledgeable about a extensive array of issues that face us locally and as global citizens.
I began to have a passion for the role of Community Planning in the classroom of Cherie Enns at the University of the Fraser Valley, Abbotsford, BC. At that time, the City was developing its Official Community Plan and my class was asked to create presentations on how UFV could be better integrated with the City.
The central theme I suggested in my proposal was to develop student housing in the historic downtown along with other community enhancing initiatives. So in 2007, when the opportunity arose in the form of like-minded individuals, I gave up pursuing a Masters for a chance to build community in Abbotsford. After three years of meetings, planning, and paperwork; followed by five months of intense renovations, (during which time I ran for MLA in Abbotsford-South) the Atangard Community Project Society?s (ACPS) communal housing for students and young professionals officially opened Sept. 1st, 2009.
My experience with the ACPS development gave me a unique perspective on grassroots economic development. In conjunction with this, interactions with the city made me realize that you needed staff and politicians who were willing to go out of their way to assist those unique and innovative projects; the ones that need the extra help to get off the ground, but which are so important to the future success and vitality of the City.
Since running in the 2011 Federal Elections for Member of Parliament to represent Abbotsford on behalf of the Green Party of Canada, I have continued pursuing my professional career as an community planner.
This has included obtaining a certificate in Geographic Information Systems and six months of developing social enterprises in Kenya and studying the effects of climate change on informal settlements in Tanzania. In September 2013, I began my Master's in Planning at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, which will be complete April, 2015. I currently, work as a Planning Intern at CBCL Consulting Engineers and as a Research Assistant and GIS Technician at Dalhouise looking at Nova Scotian populations vulnerable to climate change.