While Jan Liggett is a well-known business woman with a deep concern for the financial status of Cambridge, she is also a respected community leader whose accomplishments throughout the community are as diverse as numerous. She was a recipient of a “Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal” in 2012, the city’s “Bernice Adams Memorial Award in Communications” sponsored by the Waterloo Region Record, the YWCA’s “Women of Distinction Award in Communication” in, the Ontario Heritage Trust’s “Heritage Community Recognition Program” award by the provincial government, a Chamber of Commerce award, and founded a philanthropic organization, “The Fallen Sparrows Fund”. Jan has and still volunteers with numerous organizations and committees in a leadership capacity. She is a founding member of the Ornamental Concrete Producers Association, an international organization, forming corporate bylaws and serving as president for 1 term.
She was vice chair of the Legacy Cambridge Task Force, a committee of council and co-authored Legacy Cambridge’s Heritage Master Plan recommendation report. This report went on to become the city’s Heritage Master Plan.
As the first person to recognize the need to save the lands known as “rare Charitable Research Reserve” from gravel extraction, Jan was co-founder of the Grand River Valley Coalition, a grassroots organization dedicated to preserving the Grand River valley throughout the community. This group became 5,000 strong and was the precursor to the forming of the Reserve of today.
She appears as a delegate at City and Regional Council meetings on public matters (most recently on transit matters & lack of transparency), she often writes letters to the editors of newspapers to communicate her community’s needs.
Excerpts from Jan’s Better Choices Questionnaire
“Liveable communities are important when a company, bringing quality jobs with them, is contemplating a relocation. They are looking for the attributes which make a community liveable and at the same time provides jobs for their spouses. This will also support the focus that needs to be made on job retention, not just employment.”
“As a local manufacturer, it goes without saying that I support “buy local, buy Canadian”. Due diligence and practical sense allows for all those involved in municipal procurement to source Canadian and locally whenever possible.”
“An effectively managed city has an atmosphere of cooperation between managements, employees and unions. This ensures that employees feel well informed, valued and motivated. Achieving this requires a clear understanding and commitment to employee communication, collective bargaining, labour law, contract administration and grievance handling.”
“Presently our council has a policy of 5 minutes to speak as a delegation as an individual and 15 if representing a group. I would like to see that changed back to 10 minutes and 20 minutes respectively. On July 14th I spoke at council on the issue of citizen participation in council decisions and the lack of it. It has always been a topic that I feel is important and one that is part of my platform, along with transparency.”
“Livability is critical to the establishment of a sustainable community. A livable community should focus on the residents and environment, be walkable (with essential services for all types of residents nearby), public spaces that are not only recreational and cultural, but sensually green as well, mixed use buildings that include commercial enterprises, schools and libraries within walking distance, clean, industrial/commercial employment near residential areas, affordable for all, safe streets, and transit that takes you where you want/need to go in an efficient manner. I believe elected officials working with city planners must effectively develop urban landscapes based on quality of life and sustainable development with the needs of all in mind.”