Regional Council – Waterloo – Jane Mitchell

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About Jane

Regional Councillor representing Waterloo from 2000 to the present
Chair, Grand River Conservation Authority from 2010 to the present
Director, Conservation Ontario, 2013 to present
Chair, Employment and Income Support Advisory Committee, Waterloo Region, 2003 to present
Vice-Chair, Waterloo Region Community Services Committee
Member, Waterloo Region Crime Prevention Council, 2000 to the present
Member, Waterloo Region Active Transportation Committee (formally Cycling Committee), 2000 to the present.
Waterloo Region Public School Board Trustee, 1990 to 2000
Librarian, Renison College, University of Waterloo, 1982 to 2000
Owner, Arachne Web Consulting and Design, 1999 to 2014
Have lived in Waterloo from the age of seven. Married, two daughters, grandmother of two.
Nominated for Oktoberfest Woman of the Year. Awarded: 10,000 Trees, Tree Hugger Award. Zonta Woman of Distinction. Girl Guides Thank You pin. Honourary Member of Renison College.
Volunteer at Sunnydale Community and Garden, Medieval Faire Reading Tent, Canadian Federation of University of Women, Trefoil Guild.
Member: All Saints Anglican, Canadian Clay and Glass
Master Library and Information Science, Bachelor of Education, Bachelor of Arts.Waterloo Region Community Police Academy. Various computer and business courses at Conestoga College.

Excerpts from Jane’s Better Choices Questionnaire

“We have a disconnect between the skills needed for good jobs and the people who are unemployed. The Region works hard through many programs to get people the skills to get back to work or to go back to school for retraining. As Chair of the Employment and Income Support Advisory Committee, I know that rules at any level but particularly in ODSP and OntarioWorks can hinder people’s progress rather than help. We have wonderful organizations like HOF and Working Centre and the Immigrant Network.”

“I have worked with unions since I was the trustee head of the Employee Relations Committee at the Public School Board. Both Region and the GRCA work hard to have good relations with their unions, including following the proper procedures for bargaining. We will follow what is decided in the Carpenter Union issue. My husband was part of a union before his retirement from WLU staff and I well remember their strike. I arranged for people to donate turkeys so the employees could have a good Thanksgiving.”

“I believe that social media can be used to increase meaningful citizen engagement. I think the number of people I follow is as important as who follows me. As said previously, I think we need to go out to where the people are and engage with them, particularly youth who tend to be disengaged. I really appreciate the feedback from the Ontario Works and ODSP clients on the Employment and Income support committee. I attend many, many events of many kinds to talk to people. Creating community is one way through gardens, events, community hubs.”

“I have always been against reducing social services. It seems they are the first cut. I hope discretionary funds will stay as they are or improve. The Grand River Conservation Authority struggles with little provincial funding and a levy from municipalities, yet we are important to flood control and water quality. This also means that water and sewage treatment are important to me.”

“Homelessness can be prevented by homes. People can be fed. Addictions and mental problems can be worked on.Training and education can lead to better jobs, but what we also need is for people to feel they belong. Poor simply means you do not have enough money, yet many are stigmatized. This must stop.”