Angela Kennedy is making the jump from school board to provincial politics. A pro-life Toronto Catholic District School Board trustee representing Ward 11, Kennedy is hoping to become the next member of provincial parliament for Beaches East-York.
Her wealth of experience in both healthcare and education make the jump to being a candidate for the Progressive Conservatives in Beaches East-York a natural progression. Whereas many school board trustees run for municipal office, Kennedy told The Interim that the issues she cares deeply about are provincial matters: health and education. The wife and mother of seven sons has been a registered nurse for more than 30 years and a program co-ordinator for the Diabetes Education Program at Toronto East General Hospital.
She also takes an interest in children’s issues and has served as a member of the City of Toronto’s Children and Youth Action Committee.
She wants to make the city and province more livable and to that end, will fight for “high-quality education,” “high-quality health care,” for children’s health and development, property tax relief for seniors and safer communities through the hiring of more probation, parole and police officers.
As a sitting school trustee, Kennedy is naturally concerned with education issues. She wants a ban on teacher strikes to end the disruption of the students’ school year, but she also promises to fight for the resources that schools need: teachers, teachers’ assistants and text books.
Somewhat surprisingly, however, she supports the government’s Educational Tuition Tax Credit to provide tax relief to parents who send their children to non-elite independent schools. Kennedy says this policy “acknowledges that parents are the primary educators of their children,” not some faceless bureaucrat in the Ministry of Education or the school board. She said that “parents have the right to choose who will share the responsibility of educating our children,” and that the ETTC provides relief for parents who exercise that right outside the public or separate school systems.
Kennedy told The Interim that many residents are asking her about her position on same-sex “marriage.” She says that she tells them: “I’m a Catholic and I believe and uphold Catholic values. Marriage is for a man and a woman.” Kennedy reports that almost everyone supports her position and is thankful for her frankness in discussing the issue.
Kennedy said, “My faith guides all areas of my life, but I recognize there is separation between church and state.” Unlike with some politicians, however, this is not a cop-out. She told The Interim that she would support conscience protection for healthcare workers and defunding of abortion if such bills were brought to the floor.
As a trustee, Kennedy was a loyal ally of the non-denominational crisis pregnancy centre Aid to Women in downtown Toronto, which serves mostly low-income and immigrant women who are considering having abortions. She supported Aid to Women’s efforts to raise funds at Halloween in Catholic schools.
Also as a trustee, Kennedy took money from her trustee’s account to give an award to a graduating student who demonstrated Catholic leadership. She said she wishes she had the money to make this a permanent award, but hopes that the idea will be picked up by someone else, in order to encourage students to live visibly Christian lives in the community.
Kennedy said her campaign needs volunteers in the final days of the campaign, as turnout will be vital. You can contact her office at (416) 496-1424.
She re-iterates: “As a nurse and as a school board trustee, I have experience with issues of health and education and I pledge to the people of Beaches East York to work hard to represent their interests at Queen’s Park.”
Kennedy faces Liberal Monica Purdy and incumbent NDP Michael Prue. The riding used to belong to radical pro-abortion supporter Frances Lankin, until she left politics to head the Toronto United Way in 2001.