Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Catholic & Transgender Community leaders form friendship & train for Tely 10!

Sunday morning featured the 86th running of one of eastern Canada's largest road race, the Tely 10 Miler. With more than 3300 runners, this was the largest field ever in the history of the race. Athletes ranging from former Olympians, to walkers, lined up at 8 am on McNamara Drive in Paradise at the starting line, and made the long trek down Topsail Road and into St. John's, ending at Bannerman Park.

Preparing for a 10 mile road race, requires an important level of training. There are likely just as many unique and amazing stories as there are runners. Perhaps none more interesting than this one. A leader of the local Catholic Church community, and a leader of the local transgender community, have formed one of the most unlikely friendships and have overcome many obstacles together, to find themselves lining up together for the Tely 10 this year.

Kim Noftall has sat on the Board for the Parish Council of St. Pius X Church. She is also a community volunteer at the MacMorran Community Centre, and sits on her local Tenant Association. Kim grew up on a farm in Airport Heights, and is a graduate of Holy Heart of Mary High School. She is currently a homemaker, where she oversees a home that includes her husband, two children, two cats, a gerbil, and a lovely garden of flowers.


Jennifer McCreath is a local public figure who first made news when she lost her job as a Government senior policy analyst, shortly after coming out as transgendered and made the switch from living life as a man, to a woman. Jennifer is also well-known among the political community, as she is a frequent blogger and tweeter, and has been a subject-matter-expert in mainstream media interviews on government issues, including Access to information and Protection of Privacy, and the recent budget cuts to the Department of Justice. Jennifer has spoken at many rallies & public forums, has given guest lectures at Memorial University. She was also the founder of a non-profit organization that provides products and services to members of the Lesbian Gay, Bisexual and Trans community. Jennifer also plans to put her name on the ballot in this September's St. John's City Election. Jennifer is no stranger to distance running, having complete 30 marathons between 2007-2011, including twice at the legendary Boston marathon, and five times here at home in the Newfoundland Provincial Marathon. She was the overall runner-up at the 2008 Eastern Marathon, in Portugal Cove - St. Phillips, NL.

When Kim learned about Jennifer's transition and her marathon running, from a feature television news series in 2008, and later noticed that they lived in the same neighbourhood, she was intrigued enough that she wanted to knock on her door and say hello. A good friendship quickly developed. Not long there-after, Kim asked Jennifer if she would be interested and willing to train her to become a runner. Although having never trained another athlete, Jennifer was happy to take on the challenge, and things went very well.

Within three months, Jennifer helped Kim go from someone who had never run, into an athlete who successfully ran the third-largest race in this province, the Mews 8K race, in July 2009. Kim was also the winner of the 2.5k fast-walk charity race, for the Newfoundland Sexual Health Centre, in 2009.

 A year later, Kim's health would take a drastic turn for the worse, as she was diagnosed with Occipital Neuralgia, a condition of severe pain and numbness in the head and neck. It would later be determined that this condition was caused by Trigeminal Neuralgia, a condition where a blood vessel in the brain becomes enlarged and presses against the nerves. Kim was advised that her running career was over, as the pressure caused by the thumping of feet on the road during the running movement, would cause additional pain, and cause further risk of complications.


Meanwhile, as Jennifer made the adjustment from testosterone to estrogen, she found herself losing strength, speed, muscle, endurance, metabolism, and lung capacity. Despite a strong effort to stay in shape and keep running, she found herself gaining back all the weight she had lost in 2007 when she initially took up running, approximately 75 pounds. Stubborn, Jennifer kept running marathons anyway, and eventually blew out her knees when she refused to drop out of the 2011 Halifax Marathon, despite suffering a significant injury 26 km into the race. Jennifer would later suffer a grade-two torn ankle ligament, while running the 2011 Cape to Cabot 20 km run through the hills of Blackhead Road and Signal Hill.

Although unable to run, Kim was determined to continue on with improving her physical fitness, and took to riding a stationary bike, and talking up speed-walking on a treadmill. Kim picked her training up a notch in 2013 and dropped 20 pounds, and at 42, she is now in the best shape of her life, and was ready to make her Tely 10 debut, as a fast-walker.

After six months of physio on her ankle, which only lead to minimal improvements, the 39 year-old Jennifer, continues to battle the bulge and deals with permanent pain in her knees and ankles. Fortunately, after 4 years of consistent weight gain and decreased running amounts, she found new energy in 2013. While still hurt, she has managed to train enough and adjust her eating habits to the point that she too has lost 20 pounds this year, and felt she had enough base-building training to run what was her 4th Tely.

It turned out to be a successful day, as Kim walked the course at a consistently-fast pace, and finished strong at 2:42:25. Jennifer took to the road at a pace much slower than her sub-71-minute performance at the 2008 Tely, but she ran a strong race and avoided any major injuries, and crossed the finish line with a smile at 2:07:19, giving her only her second race finish in nearly two years, since that fateful 2011 Cape to Cabot run.

Jennifer and Kim will continue to work together and attempt to improve on their results next year. Meanwhile, off the roads, Jennifer and Kim will continue to work together to further strengthen their friendship, as well as work to take steps to try to get their respective communities to better respect and understand each other. Jennifer is optimistic after reading about the Pope's recent comments in which he indicated that gay people should not be marginalized, "we are all human beings and we all need to treat each other with love and respect. The Tely 10 is a perfect place to demonstrate that people from a wide range of backgrounds, can come together and share the roads for 10 miles, in unity, and in celebration," said Jennifer

(pictures: 1) Burton Pond 5k finish line 2010, 2) at Mundy Pond before Mews 8k Race July 2009, 3) at Travis Tritt concert 2013, 4) after the Terry Fox Run Sept 2009, 5) with local Radio Talk Show Host & near-elite runner Peter Soucy at Provincial 5K Championships 2009).

Funny looking July training log!

July 01/13 - July 01/13 one run of 26.00 km
July 02/13 - July 21/13 one run of 0.80 km
July 22/13 - July 30/13 nine runs totaling 61.50 km

Inconsistency is never a good thing when attempting to maintain good overall endurance levels. Unfortunately, injuries can creep up and ruin your momentum. But the good news, is that it doesn't take much to get back into the groove. After a dismal first three weeks of July, I have now had nine runs over nine days.

With one day remaining in this 7th month of the year, I now boast 926k on the year - which still isn't much. However, it is already triple what I ran in 2012 and puts me just shy of what I ran in 2011. In fact, there's a good chance I will eclipse my 2010 total of 2242k, which will give me my best running distance year since my glory days!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

McCreath adds another Tely 10!

I am very happy with my run today. I consistently ran 8 minute kilometres, and crossed the finish line just ahead of my 128 minute goal, giving me my 4th career Tely 10 Miler finish. It was a very consistent run, 63 minutes on the first half, and 64 on the second half. My official finishing time is 2.07.19.  Just one week ago, I thought a 2.20 would be ambitious. But I managed to get in a couple of good light training runs this week, which gave me just enough of a boost to pick things up a notch.

I started out a little slow, given that the first 2k were uphill, and given that I really didn't know how my knees and ankle were going to take to the running. After a 13.5 minute mile to start the race, I was consistently running 12 minute miles for the rest of the course. I slowed down a little on Mile 8, given a brief hill climb, and had to slow down the final mile, as the left knee was really starting to feel the pressure.

The weather was hot and muggy, bringing me close to heat-related problems a few times, forcing me to take off my hat and air out my head a few times. My long-term preparation for this event was horrible, but my short-term prep over the past week, was excellent. Overall, it's great that I can still manage a run so well, carefully assessing everything from my hydration levels, my heat, my knees, and my endurance - making slight adjustments when necessary.

The Provincial Marathon is now 8 weeks away, and while I'd love to say that I can get marathon-ready by then, it is actually unlikely. However, the Half-Marathon might be on the table. Oh well, one training run at a time; and for now, a celebration!

Final Preparations for Tely 10!

Well, it is probably the most important road race in Eastern Canada - and no, it is not a marathon. It is a 16.09 km run down Topsail Road in Paradise, Newfoundland.  The Tely 10 was named after a representative of the Evening Telegram Newspaper, got it in his mind that he would organize a ten mile road run.

I am really excited to be back in this event after missing 3 of the past 4.  Shortly after moving to Newfoundland, once people found out I was a distance runner, I was told that this race is a must-run.  I ran it in 2007 in a time of just more than 74 minutes - good enough to place me in the top 10%. a year later, even on extremely tired legs from an insane spring marathon schedule, I knocked my personal best down to just under 71 minutes - good enough for 125th out of over 2000 runners.

2009 would find me in Copenhagen, Denmark on the date of the Tely, where i became the first formally-sanctioned transsexual marathon runner in world history, by completing the World Outgames Marathon.

I would return to Topsail Road on a hot Sunday morning in 2010, nowhere near the shape I had been in two years prior, but still managed to surprise myself by breaking 96 minutes.

2011 found me deep into pride week organization, causing me to miss the run. In 2012, I was registered, but  DNS (did not start) at the last-minute, due to inflammation in my knees, and a nagging torn left ankle tendon.

Currently, I am probably in the worst Tely shape ever, but I still feel confident I can get out there and have a good run this morning. I crammed in a few more light training runs in prep, including a strong 6.6k last night at midnight, on my lunch break, and another 3.3k run, a sprint of sorts, on my way home from work this morning.. it is now 1.18 am and i am about to fall asleep for a nap and will wake up at 5 am to prep for the 8 am start time.  should be really fun!


depicted above, me approaching the finish line at the 2010 Tely 10.

Innovator of "Tulsa" Rock, J.J. Cale, dies at 74

Music lost a trail blazer last night as Tulsa, Oklahoman J.J. Cale, a Grammy Award-winning American singer-songwriter and musician, passed away from a heart attack at the age of 74.

Oklahoma City-born Cale, was one of the originators of the 'Tulsa Sound', a laid back easy-rock style that included hints of blues, rockabilly, country, folk, and jazz.

Cale was perhaps best-known for writing songs that other artists made famous, including "After Midnight" and "Cocaine" by Eric Clapton, "Clyde" by Waylon Jennings, "Call Me the Breeze" by Lynyrd Skynyrd, and "Magnolia" and "Cajun Moon" by Poco.

 I had the honour of seeing Cale perform live in a small club in Toronto, Ontario, back in 2004 - ironically, just 2 days  after  I had seen Poco play a show in which they performed both of their classic Cale cover tunes.

While song-writers don't always get a fair share of the limelight, Cale was so respected by his peers, that he was often asked to perform with them as special guests. Cale shared the stage with Eric Clapton at one of Eric's recent "Crossroads Blues Festivals".

Some of Cale's other hits included Crazy Mama, Rock and Roll Records, Lies, and Travelin' Light. Gone, but certainly not forgotten. His legacy and influence lives on in current younger artists.

photo credit: Wikipedia - Cale performs in 2006.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Poor base for Tely 10 Race

July Running Stats:

07/01/13 mon 26.00 km
07/11/13 thu 0.80

07/22/13 mon 6.60
07/23/13 tues 6.60

07/25/13 thurs 7.00
07/26/13 fri 2.00

month so far 49 k
year so far 887.1 k

Yikes, only 6 runs in 26 days so far this month. Not exactly the best way to head into Sunday's 16 km race, the Tely 10 Miler, here in St. John's. The good news is that after suffering back pain for most of the month, it has subsided enough to allow me to have 4 light runs in the past 5 days. With just 38 hours left until the race starts, I am hoping to get in one more light run in the 6-7k range, so I can at least show up at the starting line without complete rust. This race is likely to be a very slow one for me, that may even include walk breaks. But having walked 20k yesterday, I am confident that I will survive the race and cross the finish line with a smile - even if I obliterate my personal worst time!

Gender-bending Rock Pioneer, Birthday-Boy, Mick Jagger, Still Strong at 70!

For the very first time, I am proud to present, a guest blogger here on JenniferMcCreath.Blogspot.com.

Alex Smith is a television, movie and music blogger for satellitetvfamily.com where he covers everything from profiles of prominent to entertainers to retrospectives on the lost classics of film and TV. He’s been a Rolling Stones fan since birth, and has yet to find another group of artists that can bring moves and music together in one package as well as they can. He lives and works in Washington, D.C. Alex can be contacted at alex@cantmiss.tv

As we celebrate Mick's 70th birthday today, I am proud to present, Alex's article about the lead singer of the often-considered greatest Rock N Roll band of all time, Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones:


Mick Jagger is turning 70, and in a career full of milestones, he hardly seems to be slowing down. The iconic rocker has been performing since the early 1960s, averaging somewhere around 150 shows per year, and although he isn't quite the image of switch-hitting youth he once was, his legendary swagger remains prevalent in every performance.

The Rolling Stones front-man, knighted by Queen Elizabeth II - twice married to models (Bianca Jagger and Jerry Hall), with rumored shocking sex acts with a Mars bar - has more whispered rumors, legends, and true unforgettable stories to solidify his presence in rock and androgynous history than any one star could possible need. But at the heart of his influence is his, and the Rolling Stones’, trailblazing onstage presence and personality - for Jagger, a combination of melancholy, a rugged voice, pure talent and bisexual energy that was exhilarating when audiences caught their first glimpse (and much needed following the reign of the straight-laced Beatles).

The Beatles and Elvis had the power to make girls scream of course, but only Mick Jagger possessed the gender-bending presence that laid the foundations for a new generation of self-invention and disorderly behavior. Jagger threw away the perfect, major harmonies that inspired beach themes, orderly attitudes and swooning girls at groovy parties, choosing instead to roar into the microphone, using a nasally and raspy sound that harked back to the days of gospel singers.

Although he first emerged in sharp-looking fitted suits, Jagger soon transitioned to flowing flares and billowy blouses and began routinely sporting top hats, scarves, ruffled shirts and even velvet coats. The look was androgynous, and incredibly sexual. His attire, paired with the cocky gyrating of his hips as he performed, effectively rejected the stuffy masculine norms of the 1950s and 60s, and it seems clear in retrospect that Jagger's feminine lean and gravelly voice instantly opened doors for future rockers like Prince. With long coats, printed shirts and suede boots, Jagger became a true fashion icon, one that cracked open the previously thin definition of gendered masculinity, leading the way to a culture of sexual malleability.

Jagger has never truly attempted to contain or even restrain his gender-bending style. He’s never been shy about his flamboyant taste, instead choosing to revel in his penchant for lipstick, mascara, stockings and high heels. Even his classic hip wiggle, reminiscent of Tina Turner, was often compared to a girl's strip tease. Steven Simels, the author of Gender Chameleons: Androgyny in Rock’n Roll, 1985, wrote that Jagger was, "Hipless and emaciated, possessing lips of such astonishing lasciviousness, that when you put him on stage he resembles nothing so much as some weird mixture of both human sex organs."

 The Stone’s popular single "Honky Tonk Women" has lyrics that are certainly hinting at their drag queen tastes: 'a gin-soaked barroom queen in Memphis' heaves him 'right across her shoulder... she blew my nose and then she blew my mind’. Then, of course there’s Jagger’s appearance in the film Performance (1970), in which he played the character Turner, a retired rock-and-roll singer who initiates Chas, a fugitive gangster, into androgyny. "I think he’s like a sex vampire," said Natasha Terry, the sex therapist Mick briefly consulted in the late 1990s after his then-wife Jerry Hall initiated divorce proceedings. Funnily enough, she ended up having sex with Jagger as well.

Christopher Anderson’s revealing biography of Jagger, The Wild Life and Mad Genius of Jagger, divulged that pretty much everybody does, from band mate Brian Jones, to pop stars David Bowie and Carly Simon. We find that Keith Richards often referred to Jagger as either "Brenda" or "Her Majesty" and explains that Jagger’s spirited performances grew out of a "wicked parody of Marilyn [Monroe]" -the swivel-hipped walk, pouty lips and playful hair toss are all prevalent. The Stones wanted to do more than set the girls off, they wanted the boys revved up too - and it worked.

Mick's career wasn't all positive revolution, as it can’t be denied that the Stones were known to often treat people (particularly female admirers) appallingly backstage and behind closed doors. And of course, Jagger once made the mistake of hiring the Hell’s Angels for crowd-control duties in order to save money and suit his image, a decision which resulted in death of a fan.

But on his birthday, at least, we can praise Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones for opening the doorways for more than just Prince; Grace Jones, Boy George, Annie Lennox and more recent stars such as Janelle Monae and Lady Gaga all owe a thankful nod to Mick for what he brought to popular culture. As one of the first stars to utterly ignore the gender lines that had been carved out for him by ancient bureaucrats and closed-minded people, Jagger instead elected to shake the world up a bit, first with his music, and then with his own radical self.

 

photo credits to wikipedia: Mick on stage in 1972, 1975 and 1981.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

McCreath responds to St. John's & District Labour Council Election Platform Questions

The St. John's & District Labour Council recently contacted me, as a prospective candidate for the upcoming St. John's municipal election, with a series of questions. Their goal was to assess to what extent my vision for the City maps with their values and objectives. It was an honour to have an organization of this nature, reach out to learn more about me, and it was a pleasure to take the time to respond.

Not only were their questions an opportunity for them to get to know me, it was a learning experience for me, as I had a chance to gain an understanding of the issues this organization feels are important. This gave me a chance to develop thoughts and positions on many of the issues which face this City.

Unfortunately, due to time constraints, I was not able to devote quite as much time and attention to this survey as I had wished; however, I still feel my responses painted a genuine picture of my understanding of the issues, and the stances which I am taking.

I now present, a summary of the responses I provided them:

Current union affiliation:

- I currently hold a day job with the provincial public service. I am a member of NAPE. I am a Communications Technician with the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, where i take internal and external inquiries and calls for police service, including 911 calls. I am also responsible for the management of patrol units, and held accountable for taking steps to ensure police officer and public safety, through the process of police service dispatching work.

Which Position Am I running?

I have not yet finalized my decision on which position to run for. An announcement will be made in August.


Have I ever been a candidate before or campaigned?

I have never run as a candidate in a government election ever before, in any jurisdiction. From June 2011 - July 2012, I was an active member of the NDP's Disctrict Association for the Riding of St. John's, North, and was a part of their executive team. I was also a card-holder member of the Federal NDP for the same time frame. My decision to resign and go independant was brought about for a variety of reasons, which I would be more than happy to discuss with anyone.

I am not currently a card-holding member of any provincial or federal political party. I take pride in being what I consider to be a neutral and independent candidate who will not be influenced by partisan politics at these levels.I take pride in being what I consider to be a neutral and independent candidate who will not be influenced by partisan politics at these levels.

Volunteer Portfolio:

- Co-Founded St. John's Pride Inc as a provincially-registered non-profit org in 2010. Acted as Board Chair and Head of Corporate Management for an 18 month period. I wrote corporate by-laws & internal policies and procedures. recruited board members and volunteers. I oversaw corporate operations, was responsible for citizen and community engagement, marketing, advertising, stakeholder engagement, partnership development. was also responsible for communications, information management, media relations, and legislative compliance. I also wrote proposals for city grants and city permits, organized educational and entertainment events for a pride week celebration. I also co-produced and directed a made-for-television educational panel discussion. Acted as the face of the organization and an ambassador for the provincial Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) communities.

- I founded two grass-roots organizations, The East Coast Trans Alliance, and the Newfoundland Patients Association for Transsexual Health. I collaborated with trans activists and trans allies in Nova Scotia, PEI, and New Brunswick, to lobby service providers and Government, to attempt to bring standards up to levels of global best practices, including practices already adopted and functional in Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia. Provided advise and guidance to trans patients and their medical teams, to ensure understanding and compliance with global best practices. facilitated the completion of human rights complaints against provincial governments, including Newfoundland, with regards to transsexual and transgender issues, including fighting discrimination over health care, employment, and housing matters.

- I created a grass-roots organization called the Newfoundland Animal Appreciation Society, to combat the unnecessary torture and starvation of water fowl on the campus of Memorial University. This group has presence on Facebook.

- I am an active member of the Canadian Blood Services LGBT working group - a panel made up of national LGBT activists to advise how existing Blood policies impact members of said community.

- I am a co-founder and co-chair of the Newfoundland and Labrador Chapter of International Frontrunners, a walking/running and social club that caters to members of the LGBT community, and their allies.

- I wrote policies and procedures & delivered diversity and sensitivity training with regards to transgender/transsexuals in the work place with and for the Government of Newfoundland & Labradors' Respectful Workplace Coordinators Office. I was also part of a Duty to Accommodate Committee, with regards to transgender/transsexuals in the work place.

- I am a former acting chair for Pflag Canada's Newfoundland Chapter's monthly meeting. This is an organization that provides social and peer support for members of the LGBT community, their allies, and their family members.

- I am a former member of a national Pflag 'train the trainer' program to prepare Chapter leaders to better understand transgender/transsexual issues.

- I spent a year as an active member of Canadian Professional Association for Transgender Health, an industry association for individuals who are employed in a field that delivers health care products and services to members of the trans community. For my duration, I was a member, and lead policy writer, of a Membership Expansion Policy Committee, where I helped the organization find ways to expand their voting membership privileges to non-medical-credentialed workers.

- I penned a gender-inclusion policy that allowed for the creation of a 3rd sex category for transgender and intersexxed athletes at an international sporting event, the World Outgames.

- I have acted as an adviser to Egale Canada, and Trans Pride Canada, two of the country's largest Human Rights organizations for the LGBT community.

- I provided consultative advise to provincial and federal governments, and opposition parties, with regards to health care and human rights policies.

- I provided advise and guidance to general practitioners in NL to ensure they were comfortable treating transgender/transsexual patients.

- I collaborated with Canadian Autoworkers Union (CAW) to coordinate a letter-writing campaign which ultimately lead to the cancellation of the airing on television, of a controversial homophobic advertisement by a Canadian fast food chain. This campaign also lead to the termination of this food chain's relationship with the advertising agency who created the ad. I was interviewed on local radio for this story.

- I have delivered guest lectures to university student audiences and high school classes regarding LGBT issues.

- I have offered my time and knowledge to university students who were conducting projects with regards to Access to Information and Protection of Privacy, in Government settings.

- I have volunteered at the annual Terry Rielly Teddy Bears Picnic in St. John's and managed the "teddy bear hospital" providing entertainment for children by conducting quasi medical assessments on stuffed animals and dolls.

How would I make city hall more inclusive, open, responsive:

- I will lobby provincial government to repeal Bill 29 (ATIPPA) and restore it back to pre 2012 text.

- I will promote proactive disclosure of government information that can be deemed of the public interest, to ensure the info is available without people having to ask for it.

- I will implement a personal response policy to ensure that inquiries into my office get a reply within a timely manner. I will also work with other Councilors to ensure that city as a business unit, has similar response policies that meet the wants and needs of citizens.

- I will take action to do a better job communicating information about government decision-making so citizens have a better idea how government policy works, and hence, will have a better understanding of how they can have their voices heard.

- I will hold frequent events that will allow for citizen engagement. I will hold them all over town, during days and nights. I will be open to in-person meetings with citizens and businesses to discuss their concerns. I will set up a website for inquiries coming into my office and I will review existing web contact protocol for the city to ensure they are meeting the needs. I will promote the use of citizen feedback surveys so we can get a clear and consistent idea of what gaps need to be addressed.

- I will take steps to ensure that more of Government business is conducted in public, rather than in private.

- I will take steps to better educate the public on the function of Government and public policy, so that they will have a better understanding of how to get their voices heard. I will proactively engage the community to ensure people feel welcome and valued at the decision-making table.

Open door policy: 

Yes, while Councilor positions may be considered part-time, if elected, I would treat this like a full time job, and make myself available, in a timely manner, to meet with anyone in the city (be them individuals or organizations), to discuss any they would like to, regardless of whether they are related to city politics, or otherwise.

Critical issues, in no particular order:

- growth of people / aging workforce / succession planning

- getting more high school grads into college and university, getting them good jobs, allowing them to enter workforce without heavy burden of student debt

- ensuring high quality of life for seniors and retired citizens

- dealing with health and fitness of society, including fighting obesity.

- access to affordable housing

- roads and infrastructure maintenance

- the need for better sidewalk snow clearing

- making our roads safer for cyclists and pedestrians

- doing a better job with recycling and fighting pollution in our harbour and ponds - being aware of how global warming will affect this city, and developing partnerships and strategic policies to deal with them

- managing the balance between downtown development vs preserving down town's cultural heritage

- managing and improving upon what I feel is currently a challenging and hostile relationship between St. John's and neighbouring towns of Mount Pearl, Paradise, LB-MC-OC, Torbay, etc.

- managing and improving upon what I feel is currently a challenging and hostile relationship between St. John's and the Provincial and Federal Governments.

- dealing with a Provincial Government that does not have health care programs that meet the needs of the citizens of St. John's

- dealing with what appears to be an increase in crime in the city, including major crimes. Recognizing the need to form better working partnerships with the Provincial and Federal Government Departments of Justice & Attorney General, to ensure a better job is done fighting crime and undertaking proactive crime prevention work.

- Dealing with consequences of what appears to be a booming underground illegal drug industry

- Dealing with what I feel are inadequate Human Rights Programs at the Provincial level. I will be looking to implement Human Rights policies at the City level, that mirror global best-practices.

- Diversity management as the city grows: finding ways to ensure that citizens and businesses in this city become aware with how to best manage and embrace the vast diversity of people who are now moving to St. John's from all over the world, to work or study.

Public transit: 

I currently have major concerns about the state of our public transit system. I think a key starting point is getting more buses in and out of Mount Pearl, Paradise, Torbay, etc. There are so many people who drive into the city every day, because have no other way to get into town. I would like to see the development of shuttle buses from car pool spots at the edge of town off the highways, with some sort of incentive for folks to use the service. We need to find a way to get fewer cars downtown. I would also like to look at bike lanes and better sidewalk snow-shoveling so pedestrians would be more likely to leave their cars at home. I would also like to review existing bus routes and schedules, within the city, as many people have complained to me that it takes too long to get anywhere, because of long wait times, the need to transfer from one bus to another, or both.

Responsible Land use, growth development:

Existing development policies are often broken, when City Council feels it is a good idea. This is a clear sign that these policies aren't working. We need to review and revise these policies to meet best-practices, and then we need to ensure we adhere to our own policies. We need to do a much better job with being smart with our development. Inadequate urban planning is causing a bottle neck of problems. We need to to find a balance between protecting our environment, and allowing responsible growth that will allow our city and economy to strive. Studying how other cities have grown, and assessing and applying their procedures to our city, is something I would push for.

Recreation and Green Space:

I have serious concerns about the rate of green space destruction, in favour of building parking lots, dwellings, and offices. A health city requires suitable recreation and nature space that will promote the use of said spaces, by citizens. Having clean ponds, lovely forests and walking trails, and wildlife, right here in the city, acts as a tourist attraction and a gem for locals. I feel that Federal regulations are not good enough, and I will take steps to ensure that this city protects existing recreation and green space and does a better job improving their quality.

Responsible Development of Down Town:

We need a careful balance between efficient development of our Downtown, to ensure we have a downtown that maximizes what our City has to offer, as well as taking steps to preserve the cultural heritage of our City, to ensure we remain a unique tourist destination. While there appears to be significant amount of proposals to develop the harbour front properties, I see many other opportunities to develop the outskirts of the down town core, and would like to take steps to promote those. furthermore, I would like to see better development of areas of this City outside down town, so that people won't have to come down town to get products and services, if they'd prefer to get them elsewhere in the City. Likewise, I'd like to see more office space developed outside of down town, so folks who live outside of down town, won't always have to travel down town to work, if they'd prefer to work closer to where they live. The more people who can walk to work, and the fewer people that have to drive to work, is an area that will improve this City in many ways.

Responsible Development of Suburbs / Urban Sprawl:

I am going to combine my answer to these two questions as i feel they are related. As just mentioned in the last question, I'd like to see our city literally develop communities within communities. Down town, our east end, our west end, our north end, and our south end, need to start taking on identities of their own. I often look at how the Metropolitan City of Toronto has evolved. Scarborough, North York, Etobicoke, etc. All of these parts of the city have all the functions and necessities of a full city.

St. John's also needs to do a much better job communicating and collaborating with neighbouring towns. The town of Paradise is a particular area of concern, as while residential properties are growing at a massive rate, businesses and town services do not seem to be meeting their needs. While I do not expect or promote the concept of amalgamation, I'd like to see all neighbouring towns adopt a partnership attitude so that we can work together as a metropolitan area, to ensure quality of living and quality of services are equally available in all geographic areas.

I'd also like to work with the Provincial Department of Municipal Affairs to ensure that high quality regulations are put in place that will lead and enforce smart development and eliminate problems often associated with urban sprawl.

Affordable Housing:

While there clearly appears to be a boom in property development in St. John's and surrounding areas, there seems to be very little focus put on the development of condos and apartments. In addition to the many houses and townhouse complexes being build, I'd like to create a program that will give developers an incentive to create more affordable housing units. I would also be open to the idea of the City taking on a role as a developer, to create sustainable housing developments and oversee the management of these units, once they are built.

Rent Control:

Rent Control has often proven an essential policy in times of extreme growth, in other jurisdictions. I feel that tenants of our city have suffered unfair harsh rental increases as of late, given the economic boom. I would like to conduct a review of other jurisdiction that have implemented rent control. I am respectful of the needs and the rights of private businesses in property rental industry, to make a living, and make a fair profit. At the same time, we need to take steps to ensure that rental increases are not disproportionately higher than the general rate of inflation and the general rate of wage increases. Rent Control is definitely something I would consider in scope for this City, but would want to take careful steps to review the pros and cons, and come up with a system that is fair and equitable to all, and one that mirrors global best-practices.

Procurement - including policies for local, Canadian, and unionized:

I think as a City, we need to find a careful balance between promoting home grown products and services, yet respecting existing free trade agreements that are in place at the Federal level. I have a particular concern about third world labour and I would like to take steps to ensure that we as a City do not promote products or services that proliferate this type of unfair practice. As far as a procurement policy specific to unions or products and services created by unionized organizations, I'd like to engage unions so I can better understand how and why giving them preferential treatment, would be beneficial to all citizens. I am open to anything, yet I want to ensure careful consideration is given to the pros and cons of all scenarios.

Environmental sustainability:

I have serious concerns about the rate of destruction of our environment and our increase of pollution, in this City. I feel that Federal regulations are not nearly good enough and i feel that existing City Council has not taken this issue seriously. I would like to reach out to environmental activists and industry associations so that we can work towards creating and implementing environmental sustainability policies and procedures that will align our city with global best-practices. We cannot destroy our environment all in the name of development.

Economic sustainability:

This is perhaps the most complex question of them all, and one that does not have a clear-cut or simple answer. As a City, we need a careful balance of ensuring growth and prosperity opportunities exist for private businesses and investors, a City that ensures quality social services and standard of living can be met by all residents, and a plan that protects our environment and protects our cultural heritage. I will be open to engaging all stakeholders and developing relationships with global experts, to ensure we can find the most efficient and effective balance on this matter.

Municipal tax system:

I am currently in a position where I need to learn more about our tax system and compare it to other jurisdictions that have tax systems that are deemed to be of global best-practices. Ultimately, we need a system that is fair and equitable to all and I will proactively reach out to a many businesses and citizens as possible, so I can understand the issues and gaps that exist, and work towards solutions that will maximize efficiency and effectiveness in City governance, and minimize hardship.

Racism:

I would like to study how other Citys, such as Toronto and Vancouver, learned to manage racism, as they went through their huge economic growth periods. I would also like to reach out to various racial communities and their non-profit organizations, so I can best understand their issues and best understand how to help fight the racism that exists. I would also like to work with the Provincial Government to collaborate on anti-racism programs, including the betterment of existing inadequate Human Rights Laws. I would also like to take steps to celebrate racial diversity, including having City involvement in various programs and festivals that promote education, awareness, and celebration, of diversity. Ditto for LGBT issues.

First priority if elected:

The reputation of Governments is not good. The public currently lacks trust and confidence in politicians, political policies, and governance policies. I want to take steps to fight these myths and put the power into the hands of the citizens so they can literally help create programs, policies, and procedures, that will allow them to regain trust and faith in the political systems and the politicians they have elected to work for them. Politicians are mere custodians and stewards. The real owners and leaders of this city, must be the citizens. I will push to engage as many of them as possible, in as high a level as possible.

Contracting out public service:

I generally oppose the idea of contracting out public service. while this may be a necessary evil in times of urgent needs, when existing public service may not have the capacity to fulfill necessary requirements, I feel for the most part, that government services are best provided by government employees. An organization is only as strong as its Human resources. Having long-term permanent employees in place, will ensure personal buy-in towards the governments' mandate of serving the people. It will also ensure that skills, experiences, and knowledge, gained by employees, are retained in the organization.

Pay Equity and Employment Equity:

I am 100% supportive of taking steps to ensure that global standards are met in both of these areas. The City needs to ensure that it takes all steps necessary, to eliminate sexism, racism, able-ism, homophobia/transphobia, and all other forms of discrimination, within the public service. I also feel it is important to have a city work force that accurately reflects the diverse demographics of the population that lives here. People need to see city workers that they can relate to, in order to gain trust and respect for said workers. This includes creating an environment that welcomes, promotes, supports, and celebrates diversity of all types.

Public Private Partnerships:

I don't think it would be possible for me to make a blanket statement on PPPs. I would have to consider each instance as its own case study. Ultimately, we as a City Council need to take steps to ensure that the wants and needs of our citizens and business are met. This means that we will need to keep an open mind towards how we deliver these products and services. As mentioned earlier, having a strong public service is very important to me. At the same time, I am respectful and understanding that there may be certain circumstances and situations that require urgent action and quick fixes. Furthermore, if it is deemed that a PPP can offer a more efficient and effective delivery of a particular product or service, careful consideration would have to be given, weighing the pros and cons. Ultimately, keeping the best-interest of the public at-large, at heart, is critical.

Municipal workers rights to collective bargaining:

I am 100% supportive of municipal workers' rights to union membership and collective bargaining. As steward of public resources and as someone responsible for the best interest of the citizens, it would be my goal to ensure respectful bargaining that balances the best interests of employees and the electorate.

Living wage: 

The complete elimination of poverty, should be a key goal of this City Council. Wages are no longer keeping up with inflation. It seems that families that were once able to thrive on a single income, now require two incomes to meet basic expenses. Ensuring a system that provides fair wages for work performed, and wages suitable to sustain living, is a responsibility I feel needs to be owned by all levels of Government. I am well aware that the implementation of a Living Wage policy, at the City level, could have significant impact on many of the industries here. While I am open to considering a living wage policy, I'd like to review all other options, including existing minimum wage provincial policies, as well as other government funding subsidy programs, that exist, to help citizens meet a basic standard of living.


Accessibility and affordability of public services:

We need to all take steps to ensure that products and services that are wanted and needed by citizens and business of this city, are affordable and accessible. This will require a complex engagement program that will ensure that the City has quality information about these wants and needs. It will also have to take into consideration, a careful prioritization process to ensure sustainability. Education and awareness is going to be critical, as we can't provide services until we know what the needs are.

Other Comments:

While most of existing City Council seems to be made up of rich upper class people who have strived in the private sector, I bring experiences to the table that allow me to better relate to many of our oppressed and misfortune citizens. I understand what it is like to live pay-cheque to pay-cheque. I understand the challenges faced by minority groups, as I identify as a woman, a member of the LGBT community, and as a main-lander who has struggled to gain acceptance by Newfoundlanders. I bring experience to the table having worked in Government policy development positions & bring experience have running community-oriented non-profit ventures. I am an advocate for human rights and quality of living for all. I am passionate about citizen engagement. I am also keenly concerned about the well-being of the trust and respect of Government, as perceived by citizens.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Mount Pearl Day, Teddy Bear Picnic, Pride Parade - Pics & Videos! July 20-21, 2013

lots of footage of the great events I attended today. will have more on each event later this week!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwlKpDTknPQ here's me at the teddy bears picnic on NTV

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHA2r6njMSE here's me at the parade on NTV

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nkM1S-hr-s here's my raw footage of the parade

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxAlBEK0Mq8 Mount Pearl family fun day - raw footage 1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nv-llRxkR7Q Mount Pearl family fun day - raw footage 2

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Independent covers St. John's Pride, Jennifer McCreath election launch!

After not paying any attention to anything I have done over the past three years, including St John's Pride Week 2011, which I co-directed and co-implemented, St. John's, Newfoundland's second biggest newspaper, The Independent, did two feature articles this week: one on St. John's Pride, from a transgender perspective; and one on a feature interview with me - talking about both transgender issues, and my announcement of my run for city council in September's St. John's municipal election.

I want to take this opportunity to say thanks and congrats to their editor, Justin Brake, for two awesome articles!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Pride on Campus - MUN Raises Rainbow Flag! 7/16/2013

Well, there has always been Pride events on campus for as long as I have been here. Looking back through the history of St. John's, there have been years when the Campus Pride events were the only ones. When my team of community leaders incorporated St. John's Pride Inc in Sept 2010, some of the folks on campus felt slighted. This lead to a more formal development of a Pride week movement that is specifically run by and for students on Campus.  The end result is a legacy that adds significant value. These two groups are now getting along and they have worked together to essentially provide double the amount of Pride events for the entire City to enjoy. 

It was an honour to attend their flag-raising ceremony and to meet with and speak with members of the various student union reps and some of the volunteers at the schools' LGBT resource Centre.

Emcee Michael Walsh introduces the President of the School

Graduate Student Union Rep speaks 

Rainbow Flag is raised, through the trees! 

Posing for pics with Student Jordan Willis

Posing for pic with trans-identified MUN Student, Jake Cutler

Cake is always good!

Lovely young ladies at the cake table!

St. John's Pride Inc founder, Jennifer McCreath, meets current Board of Director Chair, Noah Davis-Power. Noah is also known as President, replacing my old title of Head of Corporate Management.
I liked my title better though! :P

St. John's Pride Raises Gay & Trans Flags! 7/15/2013

My rocky relationship with the gay/lesbian community has been well documented. This week, I am taking steps towards attempting to mend fences and build new bridges. I will still stand firm with my concerns about how gay and trans issues are not the same, and that gay's should not always be the ones speaking for trans people,. but at the very least, developing good rapport is the first step towards finding a balance that will maximize the potentials that do exist from working together, and will help turn gays and lesbians into better trans allies.  It was an honour to have been asked to provide the trans flag that was raised together with the gay rainbow flag. It was also really nice to meet up with and chat with several prominent members of the LGBT and political communities.


Me with Susan Rose of Egale Canada


Me with St. John's Mayor Dennis O'Keefe

 both flags prepare to be raised

 the trans flag flies proud!

 CBC captures me recording the proceedings!

CBC was kind enough to interview me about the importance and historic nature of the trans flag, and to also comment on my run for city council.


Monday, July 15, 2013

McCreath Announces Run For City Office, as Transgender Flag flies at City Hall for First time!

July 15, 2013: McCreath Announces Run For City Office, as Transgender Flag flies at City Hall for First time!

On the date of an historic event at St. John's City Hall, that will see the raising of a transgender flag along side of the traditional gay/lesbian rainbow flag; perhaps Newfoundland and Labrador's best-known transgender citizen, Jennifer McCreath, is officially throwing her name into the hat for a seat on City Council in the up-coming Municipal election.

St. John's Pride Inc. recently announced on their Facebook site, that they would raise both the traditional gay/lesbian rainbow flag, and the pink/blue/white transgender flag, together, at their opening ceremony, the flag-raising event, Monday at 1 pm at St. John's City Hall. Pride also announced that representatives from the City, as well as representatives from all three provincial political parties, had agreed to attend the flag raising and were expected to give speeches.

Jennifer, a well-known transgender rights activist and political blogger, finds it ironic that these politicians are willing to raise a transgender flag and support the flag-raising event, yet at the same time, both city and provincial governments have turned what she feels is a blind eye to some major issues affecting transgender and transsexual persons in this city and this province - specifically, gender identity nor gender expression appear in human rights laws or regulations at either level of government. She also has concerns about the lack of health care products, services, and funding, for transgender/transsexual related medical conditions, that have been deemed medically-necessary by doctors. She also has concerns that many trans people suffer from underemployment and unemployment, as well has have challenges finding access to rental housing.

QUIT THE NDP TO BECOME NEUTRAL

Over the past two years, members of the St. John's Gay/Lesbian community have celebrated the election of the first openly gay/lesbian person to the House of Assembly, when NDP member, Gerry Rogers, was elected in 2011. Jennifer McCreath, an openly out transsexual and lesbian, is a former card-holding member of both provincial and federal NDP parties. She abruptly resigned from the NDP shortly after Pride Week last year, over concerns she had about how the NDP was positioning themselves as trans human rights advocates. Specifically, Jennifer has spoken out against NDP Federal Private Members Bill C-279, stating that the amendments to the bill tabled by bill- sponsor Randall Garrison, watered down the bill to the point that it would not sufficiently accomplish the goals the original bill was set out to create - specifically, provide universal and explicit Human Rights protection to all human beings, regardless of Gender Identity or Gender Expression. McCreath went so far as to create a website Tcac279.org, representing a movement known as Trans Canadians Against Bill C-279, to voice these concerns. Jennifer felt that not only the NDP, but all major political parties, viewed trans issues as nothing more than political pawns. She vowed to take on a politically-neutral stance to take steps that trans rights became a universal issue, rather than a political one.

While Gay and Lesbian politicians are being successfully elected all over the country, sadly, no trans-identified person has ever been elected to public office anywhere in Canada, at any level of government. Jennifer hopes to change this, and offers St. John's the unique opportunity to claim the distinction of being the first. Jennifer is proud to announce her intention to seek a seat on City Council in the upcoming September election in the City of St. John's. While she has yet to formally file paperwork, and while she has yet to decide which position to run for, she is certain that she will indeed put her name on the ballot.

WHY SHE IS RUNNING

While Jennifer certainly does not expect support specifically because of her trans medical history, she feels that the life experiences she has faced, specifically, challenges with government institutions, has helped give her knowledge and experience as to how government programs operate, and how government engages citizens. Additionally, she feels this gives her knowledge and experience on how these matters could potentially be improved, especially for minority groups and other oppressed demographics.

Jennifer also has concerns about what appears to be a perceived lack of trust of Government and government processes, and/or outright indifference towards politics and public policy, among a large quantity of the lower and middle classes. She hopes that the announcement of her candidacy will re-engage and rejuvenate interest in the political process, of those who traditionally have felt disengaged or indifferent. She, ironically, feels that she can better relate to many of these voters than the majority of other candidates who are among the upper class, "People will be more likely to trust someone who has walked a mile in their shoes. I know what it's like to live pay cheque to pay cheque. I know what it is like to have to walk on snow-covered sidewalks in the winter here. I know what it's like to have trouble finding a place to live or finding a better job," Jennifer said.

Jennifer also hopes that her political neutrality will help voters gain confidence that she will always remain transparent and accountable to the electorate, and will not make decisions that are bias towards one political party's ideology or another. "I felt highly disturbed when Federal NDP leader Thomas Mulcair announced he will be pushing for Sheilagh O'Leary to become the next mayor, and Sheilagh then indicated she had no idea he was going to say that. That seemed very suspicious," says McCreath. She feels this gives the public a perception that municipal politicians are mere puppets of provincial and federal political parties, and this raises a series of concerns. She is actually quite concerned, as a citizen, to see so much political partisanship veer it's head into this municipal election, and she looks forward to running a campaign that focuses on her neutrality, just as much as one that focuses on her skill-sets and experiences.

Jennifer also states that it will be a priority of hers to take steps to see that the City can do a better job communication and collaborating with other levels of Government, to ensure all citizens of St. John's get the types of Government Services that they need, "St. John's is one of the fastest-growing cities in the world. Federal and Provincial products and services cannot be considered a one-size-fits-all situation for all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians," said McCreath.

Finally, Jennifer states she will likely run a low-key campaign, and do so on a part-time basis, "this will be a word-of-mouth campaign. there will not be any huge fundraisers. I am not trying to buy votes and I will not be seeking to litter the city with plastic election signs. This is the last thing locals and tourists want to see during the lovely summer months ahead. My commitment and dedication to this city as a citizen, is already well-documented," said McCreath.

WHO IS JENNIFER?

Jennifer is an internationally-recognized activist and spokesperson for the trans community. She made provincial headlines when she lost her job as a senior policy analyst, in 2009, with the Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Government's Office of the Chief Information Officer, shortly after coming out as trans. She was in the news again in 2012 when the Human Rights Commission of NL refused to hear her discrimination complaint against the Provincial Health care funding Insurance Plan, MCP, over MCP's refusal to cover the costs of medical procedures that had been deemed medically-necessary by her local doctors.

McCreath went on to find employment with the Provincial Government's Crown Attorneys' Office, and was a victim of recent Provincial budget cuts to the Department of Justice, in April 2013. She landed on her feet; however, when she took advantage of her union seniority to secure a position with the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, where she currently works as a Communications Technician.

McCreath is a marathon runner and is well-known in the international gay/lesbian/bi/trans athletic community. Jennifer pioneered the trans sex category at the 2009 World Outgames in Denmark, an Olympic-like sporting event for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and trans communities. She took home Gold Medals in both Running and Swimming, for her efforts. She has run 30 marathons to date, including twice at the Boston Marathon, and five times at home in the Newfoundland Provincial Marathon.

Jennifer will make history later this year when she becomes the first openly-trans person to run for public office in the Province of NL, when she puts her name on the ballot for the St. John's municipal election, in September.

Interview requests: contact info@jennifermccreath.com or 709-753-9529

Jennifer McCreath
St. John's, Newfoundland & Labrador
http://www.jennifermccreath.com
info@jennifermccreath.com
www.twitter.com/Jenn_McCreath
709-753-9529

Transgender Flag to be raised at Historic St. John's Pride Week Launch!

In March 2012, Transsexual, Jennifer McCreath, who co-founded St. John's Pride Incorporated in Sept. 2010, resigned from the organization and boycotted the 2012 Pride Parade, stating that she felt members of the gay/lesbian community, and their allies, were not understanding or sympathetic towards the issues and priorities of the transsexual and transgender communities.

Fast forward to July 2013, and Jennifer is cautiously optimistic as this City heads into Pride Week. For what may be the first time in world history, Pride organizers have announced that they will fly both a gay rainbow flag and a transgender pink, white & blue flag, at their flag-raising event at St. John's City Hall Monday, July 15, 2013, at 1 pm.

The transgender Pride flag was created by transwoman Monica Helms in 1999, and was first shown at a Pride parade in Phoenix, Arizona. The flag consists of five horizontal stripes: two light blue, two pink, and one white in the centre. Helms described the flag layout as follows: "The stripes at the top and bottom are light blue, the traditional color for baby boys. The stripes next to them are pink, the traditional color for baby girls. The stripe in the middle is white, for those who are intersex, transitioning or consider themselves having a neutral or undefined gender. The pattern is such that no matter which way you fly it, it is always correct, signifying us finding correctness in our lives."

Jennifer McCreath was contacted by Pride representatives and was not only advised of this event, but was given the honour of having her specific personal flag being used as the flag that will be raised in a special presentation. She advised that she will indeed attend. "Raising both flags together will demonstrate a community of unity and friendliness - something that is strongly needed here in St. John's, given that so many members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans community remain closeted and afraid to reach out," said McCreath.

Pride also recently announced on their Facebook site, that representatives from the City, as well as representatives from all three provincial political parties, had agreed to attend the flag raising and were expected to give speeches. Jennifer finds it ironic that these politicians are willing to raise a transgender flag and support the flag-raising event, yet at the same time, she feels both city and provincial governments, as well as all provincial opposition parties, have turned what she feels is a blind eye to some major issues affecting transgender and transsexual persons in this city and this province - specifically, gender identity nor gender expression appear in human rights laws or regulations at either level of government. She also has concerns about the lack of health care products, services, and funding, for transgender/transsexual related medical conditions, that have been deemed medically-necessary by doctors. She also has concerns that many trans people suffer from underemployment and unemployment, as well has have challenges finding access to rental housing. Jennifer maintains that the myth that gay and transgender are the same thing, and that gay organizations are deemed qualified to speak and act for the transgender community, is causing more harm than good.

While McCreath appreciates that the St. John's Gay/Lesbian community like to use Pride Week to celebrate accomplishments and victories, such as securing access to same sex marriage, and successfully fighting for the removal of a life-time ban on blood donations by males who have had sex with males, she feels that members of the trans community are still fighting some of the most basic battles, and are not ready to celebrate just yet. While she embraces the opportunity for gay and trans folks to come together and form a sense of community, she hopes that there will be sufficient opportunities to use Pride Week as an opportunity to educate the public regarding the difference between gender identity (a sense of self) and sexual orientation (who you are attracted to), as well as demonstrate how these two issues differ, and seek assistance and understanding towards the challenges members of the trans community still face. Jennifer intents to attend numerous Pride Week events, and hopes to mend fences and build new bridges as she liaises with other Pride Week attendees.

Jennifer made headlines when she lost her job as a senior policy analyst, in 2009, with the Provincial Government's Office of the Chief Information Officer, shortly after coming out as trans. She was in the news again in 2011 when the Human Rights Commission of NL refused to hear her discrimination complaint against the Provincial Health care funding Insurance Plan, MCP, over MCP's refusal to cover the costs of medical procedures that had been deemed medically-necessary by her local doctors.

McCreath went on to find employment with the Provincial Government's Crown Attorneys' Office, and was a victim of recent Provincial budget cuts to the Department of Justice, in April 2013. She landed on her feet; however, when she took advantage of her union seniority to secure a position with the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, where she works as a Communications Technician. She is an aspiring politician, an animal rights advocate, and a marathon runner. Jennifer pioneered the trans sex category at the 2009 World Outgames in Denmark, an Olympic-like sporting event for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and trans communities. She took home Gold Medals in both Running and Swimming, for her efforts. Jennifer is an internationally-recognized activist and spokesperson for the trans community. Jennifer will make history later this year when she becomes the first openly-trans person to run for public office in the Province of NL, when she puts her name on the ballot for the St. John's municipal election, in September.

Interview requests: contact info@jennifermccreath.com or 709-753-9529

-- Jennifer McCreath
St. John's, Newfoundland & Labrador
http://www.jennifermccreath.com
info@jennifermccreath.com
www.twitter.com/Jenn_McCreath
709-753-9529

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Garfield the Cat passes away :(

Garfield the Cat was one of the key inspirations behind my decision to adopt two cats in 2010.  It is with great sadness that I announce that Garfield is no longer with us, succumbing to what appeared to have been kidney failure last night. He was a shy but curious cat who was always well behaved. He leaves behind a legacy of love.

Sending my condolences out to my good friend Kim and her family, as they deal with this sad and untimely loss.

No Water at Salmon Fest!

Well the tweets have been coming in all afternoon. The only way to get water at this festival was to line up for an hour and pay $4 for a bottle. But even worse, they apparently ran out of stock by late afternoon. Not a very good situation for an all-day music festival in the blazing heat with 25000 dehydrated people!

Gauging concert goers with ridiculous prices for luxury items, is understandable, but this is not a luxury item. People without water for a 9 hour concert in the hot sun, will be at risk of health problems, including dehydration and heat stroke. While I made the following vlog today to mock the situation, this is really no laughing matter.  A huge shame on organizers for this catastrophic blunder. I'm so glad I didn't make the trip to Salmon Fest. Much more happy to be safe and sound here at home beside my kitchen tap!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

McCreath Blasts BBC over Sexist tennis comments

When Marion Bartoli shocked the world by winning the Wimbledon Ladies singles Championships this past weekend, BBC commentator John Inverdale criticize her for not being good looking. I was highly offended and disgusted by these comments and created this vlog to voice my concerns. (Photo Credit to USA Today).

In a world in which women often face unnecessary pressure to be skinny and gorgeous, it is sad to think that an older male tennis commentator would proliferate this double-standard. I call shame on this guy and shame on the BBC, and I call on BBC to take this guy off the air and issue an apology.