My Personal History
I was born and raised in the northern part of Toronto, Ontario. My father was a former truck-driver and organizer for the Teamsters in Sault-Ste-Marie. He has owned and operated a successful trailer leasing and financing company for over 40 years. Growing up, he taught me important lessons about life and business. I learned to be tough and wise from him. My mother immigrated to Toronto from England during the Second World War. She is smart and active, and continues to work full-time as a comptroller for a large building company in Toronto. She is now 78 years old. She showed me how to work hard and to be independent and resilient. I was raised to believe in honesty, respect, hard work, and having pride in yourself and those around you.
My first job in Ottawa was a temporary position working for an Ottawa-based high-tech company. This was a true sweatshop. They expected their employees to work until 10:00 in the evening for weeks prior to a release. We were given dinner for our troubles…no extra pay. It was clear to me that I could not continue in this position due to my family requirements. I did not ask to be renewed for a second term. I applied through an agency to find my first job with the government, working as a CS1 for the former HRDC. Once in a term, I applied on two competitions for permanent positions. I placed 1st on the CS1 competition, out of 100, and 2nd on the CS2 competition, out of the 60 applicants who had been screened in. I was given a permanent CS2 position doing LAN administration. I remained in that position until I was elected as PIPSC full-time Vice-President, as my distaste for injustice and subsequent union involvement took the lion share of my focus over the years.
I have had three sons along the way; raising them has been both my greatest challenge and my greatest joy. Jacob is now 24, Joshua is 22 and my third and final son, Jesse, is 14. After 7 months off work to look after him and my other two sons, I returned to work. I became a steward within months of my return. I have been fighting for employees’ rights in the workplace since the day I joined the Public Service, but it was now time to get serious and get involved. I became a Steward, got trained and got active… PIPSC officials and volunteers couldn’t wait to engage me!
Recently, I became an extremely proud Grandma of a beautiful baby girl, who is now 2 years old and growing fast! I can’t wait to create a new generation of activists!!