I first represented all of Thornhill many years ago as Trustee and Vice Chair of the School Board. More recently, I was honoured, privileged and genuinely loved serving our community as a Thornhill Councillor. Now I ask for your support in returning to serve you again.
Election campaigns are usually started with lofty promises and big slogans, most of which never really come to fruition. As I embark on this campaign to return to Markham Council in the October 22nd election, I want to start with an apology.
As has been well-publicized in the past and as many are aware, I had some very misguided brushes with the law. I had struggled with depression and anxiety privately for far too long and didn’t ask for help when I should have. Nor did I even realize, or want to admit to myself, how it was effectively and self-destructively, sabotaging my own life and hurting those I cared about. I had gone through a challenging time in my life and the mental health issues affecting me led me to act in a way that was completely wrong, irresponsible and out of character.
I am deeply and profoundly embarrassed by that behavior and make no excuses for it. I take full responsibility for those mistakes. Those close to me know that they do not reflect who I really am as a person.
While I am grateful for the support of so very many people in our community I know that my actions let some down and for that I feel terrible and am truly sorry. That simply will not happen again!
It is estimated that 1 in 5 Canadians will experience a mental illness throughout their lifetime. Unfortunately, many don’t even seek the help they so desperately require because of the stigma still surrounding mental health issues. Honestly, this concerned me too but I was lucky enough to have people support me when I needed help the most, which finally allowed me to deal with my mental health in a positive, constructive way.
Often one needs to hit rock bottom before being able to rebuild. I sought the counselling necessary in order to make myself a better person. I am at peace with myself now and fully committed to work with and on behalf of this great community. I hope I can be forgiven for my mistakes by my family, friends and you, the residents of Thornhill. I have done my best to learn from those mistakes. And so, I am asking you for another opportunity. I can and will do better and not let you down.
An election campaign should be a discussion about how to make our neighbourhoods and communities better – what’s working well and what needs fixing. It can and should be a civil debate. There is no need or reason for mean-spirited, personal attacks other than to further one’s own agenda. You will likely see some of those attacks directed my way. The skeletons are no longer in the closest, so to speak. But if the past is any indicator, some will find it necessary to go beyond the mistakes I actually made and create complete works of fiction to smear my name. You deserve better than that and I trust you to separate fact from fiction.
I am very proud of my time on Council and the work I did on behalf of the residents of Thornhill and Markham. The accomplishments achieved were done by us working together as neighbours. We can and will do even more for our community and our City.