Jamaican woman seeking to be MP from Ontario, Canada
Jamaica in the WorldFriday, May 14, 2021
Michelle Meghie, a Jamaica living in Mississauga, Canada, who has three decades of work experience in children services and social services under her belt, hopes to become the Brantford-Brant, Ontario Liberal candidate in the next federal election.
“Meghie is the first contestant 'greenlit' to seek the local Liberal party's nomination,” Jamie Crick, chair of the Brantford-Brant Federal Liberal Association, was quoted by Today's Farmer newspaper.
No date has yet been set for a nomination meeting. Crick said he couldn't comment on whether there would be other potential candidates. The 44th Canadian federal election will be on or before October 16, 2023.
Meghie, who was born and raised in Jamaica and came to Canada when she was 16, said she has plans to move to the Brant area.
“I want to run where I plan to move to,” she said. “There is a uniqueness and beauty to (Brantford-Brant) that I want to support in a very big way,” she told the news outlet.
A longtime Liberal Party member, Meghie has held several executive positions both federally and provincially, including with the Women's Liberal Club, Ontario Women's Liberal Commission and National Women's Liberal Commission, Ontario.
The semi-retired activist said she planned to devote all of her time to becoming the local Liberal candidate and the next MP for Brantford-Brant, which is situated just outside Toronto and has a large Jamaican Diaspora.
“I have spent a lifetime serving. I want to make a difference in people's lives. Sometimes you have to make a decision to close a door and open a new one,” she said.
Meghie holds a degree in sociology from York University, a diploma in early childhood education from Seneca College and a certificate in mental health first aid.
She admitted that with the novel coronavirus pandemic making in-person meetings impossible, she would have to “get creative in order to reach out to the community”, largely through social media.
She also plans to make connections through organisations that include the local Liberal women's club, electoral district association and the Chamber of Commerce.
As a black woman, Meghie said she's passionate about diversity and inclusivity in politics. While inroads have been made, she said there's still much work to do before leaders better resemble the people who elect them.
“I want to be the voice of Brantford-Brant. I want to make a difference and pursue opportunities for all. Because I am from outside the riding, I come with a fresh pair of eyes and new ideas.
“I will be bringing something new to the table. My job is to get out there and let people know what the party has to offer. I want to move Brantford-Brant forward,” said Meghie.
— Compiled by Desmond Allen and Kevin Wainwright