Thursday, September 26, 2013

Telegram Q & A: Lack of Women Elected

I was recently contacted by a journalist to get my reaction to why the City of St. John's elected 11 males and Zero females to City Council. Here's the dialogue from the communication exchange:


Kathy Dunderdale in 2009 announced a series of lunch and learn sessions around the province to encourage women to run in 2009 municipal election. It wasn't done this year. Do you think it would have helped? Do you think there should be a committee of some sort put together to help women learn the ropes, fund-raise and that sort of thing to get them prepared for elections? Everyone is saying we need to encourage more women to run, to get involved, five ran in St. John's out of 30 candidates, while its not ideal, five is better than zero, but none got elected. What is that telling us? I also noticed you tweeted something about Dunderdale and Harper being happy with the results. What did you mean?

My Response:

I don't believe voters have any blatant individual gender-based discrimination. I'd like to think the voters elected these 11 men because they felt they had the best resume of education, skill-set, and/or experiences, needed to do these jobs.

Ultimately, above all, I think the real issue here is that voters tend to stick with the status quo unless they have major reason to throw out the incumbents. The incumbents are the ones who have a recognition and brand name. They are the ones who have a high media profile. The voters know who they are and know what they have done. Voters are less likely to put trust and faith into people they have never heard of. and quite frankly, it takes tons of work to get your name out there, regardless of your sex or gender! Yes, all 5 women who ran in this election, would have made excellent city councilors, but unfortunately, the men who defeated them, in all cases, are people who have done a better job getting their name out there. Likewise, many other new candidates who were men, were also beaten badly, likely for many of the same reasons.

I'll also suggest that it is easier to get your name out there when you have a recognized list of leadership experiences; and this may be where the gender imbalance in the corporate world comes into play. Men outnumber women in senior management positions, Board of Director positions, CEO positions, etc. and the vast majority of people who run for public office, tend to have work experience with organizations in these types of positions. While there may not have been individual discrimination, I would point to systemic bias as a part of the equation.

With all of this in mind, I do not think that a program that would specifically encourage women to run for office, would solve this problem. I think the real issue here, and one that I would like to see the Provincial Government take a look at, would be taking steps to encourage all of society - especially big corporations, to take steps to raise the profile of women in their organizations in general. We need to start seeing gender equality on Corporate Board of Directors, we need to start seeing gender equality in terms of CEOs and in senior management positions. You fix this imbalance, and I guarantee you will see gender equality in terms of political candidates, and in terms of candidates who get elected.

The same thing could be said for gay people or transgender people. we are grossly underemployed in the work force, and hence, are under-represented in political councils.

We also need to take steps to change the mindset of society, with regards to accepting of diversity, not just in politics, but in leadership roles everywhere. people from all aspects of live can make great leaders. being a woman, or being gay, or being transgendered, should not limit one's ability to climb a corporate ladder, nor should they be cause for society to take them less seriously. This is a challenge I have specifically faced. in 2007, I was seen as a credible and respected man who was a senior policy analyst. fast-forward 2 years, and I am a transgendered woman, and all of a sudden, nobody wanted to hire me to a job at an analyst role. I have worked extremely hard to prove to everyone that I am still the same person and I still have the same education, work experiences and skill-sets. Sadly 5 years later, and 100 job interviews later, I am stuck doing clerical and administrative work, for half the pay I used to make. Taking all of this into consideration, the fact that i was able to secure 5725 votes, against a very strong opponent, for the position of Deputy Mayor, is a huge sign that I may finally see a break through. to know that 5725 people had enough trust and faith in my skill-set, to take on this role, is a sign that if I keep looking hard enough, I just might eventually find an employer willing to give me a shot at analyst or management-level work. and ultimately, I am hoping that running this campaign will help raise my profile so that people will be more likely to give me a chance.

One final thought, selling change takes extra hard work. There is a history and culture of politics being often dominated by rich old men. Heck, not that long ago, the much-loved John Crosbie made sexist and degrading comments, in the Federal House, towards Sheila Copps, one of only a few female MPs in the House at the time. Rather than being disgraced, he was embraced and loved for his comments. This type of attitude is also part of the problem. Rather than encourage women to run for office, I think we need to take steps to encourage existing politicians to be more accepting and respectful towards women.

As far as my comment about Harper and Dunderdale being pleased, it is my opinion that the majority of councilors elected, are very conservative-friendly, in terms of their platforms and/or political history. This definitely seems like a very pro-development council, as well. I have some personal concerns about many social issues, will not be addressed properly, by this council, including concerns about affordable housing, clear sidewalks, protecting the environment, preserving heritage buildings, etc...

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

10 Election Goals, in no particular order:

- meet new people
- make new friends
- learn more about this city
- get a grasp on what the key issues are
- demonstrate my skills and abilities to a wider audience
- participate in the democratic process
- make sure important people listen to my concerns about the city
- gain respect and credibility as a policy analyst
- get many people to vote who never voted before
- win

9 out of 10 ain't bad!

 #nlpoli #sjvotes

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

McCreath plasters Confederation Building with election signs!

For Immediate Release - Tuesday Sept 24, 2013

McCreath plasters Confederation Building with election signs - and Vows to keep a close eye on the Provincial Government!

I don't write very many press releases in the first-person but i am going to do it with this one.

I have posted almost all of my election signs at the two entrances of the Confederation Building parking lots, as a symbolic message of one of my most important campaign issues: St. John's needs a Deputy Mayor who is able to develop a better working rapport with our Provincial Government; and at the same time, a Deputy Mayor who is politically-neutral and not afraid to stand up to the Provincial Government, and call them out, when they take actions that may not be in the best interest of our great City.

My concerns about some of the recent action of our Provincial Government, are well documented - including concerns I have raised over the past year regarding the budget cuts to the Department of Justice, the controversial amendment to our Access to Information act know as Bill 29, as well as concerns over the Government's refusal to allow the Public Utilities Board to conduct a proper assessment on the Muskrat Falls project. Also, the Provincial Government has a huge impact on all cities. The City of St. John's Act is a piece of Provincial legislation that controls how City Hall can operate.  

With so much on the line, I urge people to vote for me, Jennifer McCreath - a candidate you can count on to always listen to citizens and not fall prey to pressure or bullying from the Provincial  Government, or the Federal Government, for that matter.  A vote for me is not a vote to be Kathy Dunderdale's Puppet nor Stephen Harper's puppet.  

Finally, take a look at this! A Scope Article has a link to a list of donations to Ellsworth and O'Keefe. Take a close look folks!  I see many donations coming in from companies who have been known conservative supporters! 

Ironically enough, supporters of Mayor Dennis O'Keefe, raised concern about an apparent NDP take-over plan, for City Hall; however, my biggest fear right now is that an O'Keefe/Ellsworth partnership will essentially give Dunderdale the keys to the city!

Finally, you can guarantee that as Deputy Mayor, I will be there to work hard with the Mayor, yet I won't put up with any crap from them either! I am nobody's lackey!

C'mon St. John's! Get out there and vote McCreath for Deputy Mayor to ensure there won't be any silly takeovers of our City Hall.  My experience and education has prepared me for the role of Deputy Mayor my entire life. Learn more about my background and platform priorities at

Jennifer McCreath

 #nlpoli #sjvotes

Monday, September 23, 2013

McCreath Reacts to Concern about Industrial Activities on Pepperell Road!

Sept. 23, 2013 - For Immediate Release

Deputy Mayor candidate, Jennifer McCreath, was recently contacted by concerned residents of the Pepperell Road neighbourhood, who raised concern about 'heavy industrial operations' that are apparently taking place in an area deemed limited to 'light' industrial work. The correspondence to McCreath indicated that the zoning approved for the area allows for "light industrial use associated with a retail or wholesale business."

McCreath was advised that D.F. Barnes Group of Companies is apparently using their Pepperell Road site for "full industrial operations - including the processing of heavy industry metal fabrication and repair (welding), rust and contaminated metal remediation (industrial sandblasting , coatings and paints) , and loading and unloading , storage , maintenance of large naval marine structures. In addition, sheet metal repair, including the pounding out of heavy gauge steel metal, is taking place."

McCreath was advised that the complainants had received communications from a City Council rep in September 2012, which "made it abundantly clear that these companies are in constant violation of the regulations". McCreath was advised that Council has been aware of these violations since 2008. McCreath was also advised that the violations of these regulations are cause for concern for the following reasons:

- The nuisances of noise, hammers pounding on steel from 11:00 PM to 7:00 AM seven days a week, violates the City noise by-law.
- Hazardous contaminated dust and particulate is produced by the sandblasting operations and air born plumes of the pollution are being inflicted into the Environmentally Valuable Area (EVA) of Lundrigan’s Marsh. - Noxious fumes from the industrial paint building (NewTech Coatings Ltd), is being dumped raw without any filtering into the atmosphere.
- This is unfair to the D.F. Barnes Group of Companies as they are making substantial investments in plant and equipment based on what they perceive as acceptable operating procedure.

While not an expert on the differences between light and heavy industrial work, and while not qualified to make a judgement statement on whether or not the above-cited by-laws are being violated, McCreath traveled to Pepperell Road on Friday Sept 20, 2013 and observed operations that included loud noises, the use of heavy machinery, and signs indicating that hard-hats were required in a fenced-off area. McCreath also took note of the close proximity of residential properties in the area.

McCreath vows, that if elected Deputy Mayor, she will look deeper into this issue. "It is critically important, for the integrity of our City, to ensure that Zoning by-Laws are enforced. When complaints from the public are filed, the City need to follow up on them in a timely manner. Furthermore, we need to ensure that residential neighbourhoods, and protected environmental areas, are not put at risk for unacceptable levels of pollution," said McCreath.

Questions or interviews:

Jennifer McCreath
twitter: @jenn_mccreath

 #nlpoli #sjvotes

McCreath Vows to Keep Snow off Sidewalks!

Sept. 23, 2013 - For Immediate Release

Deputy Mayor candidate, Jennifer McCreath, says she wants the City of St. John's to do a better job removing snow from sidewalks. While campaigning, she has spoken with many concerned residents who say not nearly enough sidewalks are cleared, and that many of the cleared ones, are not even cleared properly.

McCreath has lived in St. John's since 2007 and has never owned a car, and has spent more than her fair share of time trying to negotiated snow and ice-covered sidewalks. In addition to having sidewalks cleared, she also recognizes that some of the existing sidewalk snow-removal practices are ineffective, "I've never understood why they drive these huge bulldozers over the sidewalks, which actually presses the snow down and leaves a thick sheet of compressed snow, that often turns into ice, rather than clearing it properly," said McCreath.

McCreath says it is unacceptable to expect pedestrians to walk on busy roads, such as Prince Philip Drive, while sidewalks remain covered in snow for several days after snow has fallen, "as traffic levels increase in this city, the roads become more congested - and it is unreasonable and unsafe to expect pedestrians to share the road with vehicles. Other major cities have figured out how to properly remove snow from their sidewalks, and there is no reason why we can't do the same," said McCreath.

McCreath says she is also receiving complaints from citizens who say there are too many cars on the roads, and that steps need to be taken to make the city more accessible and friendly for bicycles and pedestrians. Ensuring that sidewalks are clear of snow, is a high priority, and one she says should not necessarily cost too much more taxpayer dollars to fix, "if we can replace these sidewalk bulldozers with proper snow plows, that will resolve a great percentage of the problem. Additional plows will be required, however, to ensure all sidewalks are plowed in a timely manner," said McCreath.

Questions of interviews:

Jennifer McCreath
twitter: @jenn_mccreath

 #nlpoli #sjvotes

McCreath wants Election Signs banned from Public Property!

Sept 23, 2013 - For Immediate Release

Deputy Mayor candidate, Jennifer McCreath says that if elected, she will table a motion to amend the St. John's Sign By-law to eliminate election signs on public property. While campaigning, Jennifer has spoken with many concerned constituents who feel election signs on public property are a nuisance - especially those already placed in violation of existing sign by-laws.

McCreath acknowledges that many other cities do not allow election signs on public property and suggests that the true value of election signs would be demonstrable on private property, "a sign on private property demonstrates true support, while a sign on public property demonstrates ones ability to purchase signs," said McCreath.

Jennifer says the appearance of signs on public property ruin the beautiful image of this City, especially during summer tourist season, and also may cause traffic safety hazards, as many signs are placed in close proximity to intersections (placements that are already deemed illegal under existing signs act). McCreath also says she would like to see better enforcement of both existing, and her proposed amendments to the Sign Act. She is also concerned about the cost to the tax-payer, as the City is tasked with removing illegally-placed signs, "it is to my understanding that there are no new additional resources made available to the City for illegal sign-removal, during elections. This puts extra stress on existing City staff. I would like to limit the amount of illegal signs, and hence, limit the amount of additional work that is required by City staff, for this matter," said McCreath.

Questions, interviews, or for more information:

Jennifer McCreath
twitter: @jenn_mccreath

 #nlpoli #sjvotes

McCreath wants Public Transit Committee with Neighbours!

Sept 23, 2013 - For Immediate Release

Deputy Mayor candidate, Jennifer McCreath says the City of St. John's needs to take on a leadership role in organizing a regional public transit committee. McCreath says that while campaigning, she has taken several complaints from citizens who complain about increased traffic, increased dangerous driving, and lack of parking space down town. She says many citizens have also raised concern about Metrobus not being efficient.

McCreath says that an expanded and more efficient Metrobus system could significantly decrease the amount of cars coming in and out of downtown. She says many people who live in neighbouring towns, such as Paradise, Conception Bay South, and Torbay, have to travel to St. John's to work, and have no other way to get in town. McCreath says that if elected, she will reach out to neighbouring town councils to put together a committee that could look into a collaborative approach to expanding Metrobus services, and/or creating and providing other bus services in and out of St. John's, to these towns.

McCreath also says that she would like to see car-pool parking lots set up at the edges of town, with special express-bus services being set up to get people to key areas of the city, in a timely fashion, "we need a way to get people to core areas of the city, including downtown, MUN and the Malls, without having a huge influx of cars," she said. McCreath would like to see a program set up that would give people incentive to use these shuttle services, rather than drive their cars downtown. "There are only so many places to put cars. We have tried to build more and more parking spaces, but perhaps the time is now, to start looking at finding ways to have fewer cars, rather than additionally more parking spaces," said McCreath. "It might even make sense to make these shuttle buses free of charge, if it will help reduce the amount of cars coming into the city," said McCreath.

questions of interviews:

Jennifer McCreath
twitter: @jenn_mccreath

 #nlpoli #sjvotes

Thursday, September 19, 2013

McCreath says Ellsworth not fit for Office by refusing Debates!

Deputy Mayor Candidate Jennifer McCreath is quite concerned that Ron Ellsworth, the other Deputy Mayor candidate, failed to attend the Happy City All-Candidates Forum, and that he has allegedly refused to accept invitations to come onto CBC radio to discuss and debate the issues, when apparently invited by Radio Noon. Now, there is talks of the CBC Morning Show, seeking to bring both candidates on air for a discussion, and McCreath wants to do everything possible to make sure both candidates attend.

Some people have stated that Ron is a shoe-in to win this seat, given that Jennifer is a relative newcomer to Municipal politics, but Jennifer says that refusing to attend debates is a sign of either arrogance or fear, "If he really is as strong as a candidate that folks say he is, then he shouldn't have anything to hide or anything to be afraid of," says McCreath, who filed nomination papers on the last day of eligibility.  "By shying away from debates, he is not demonstrating leadership skills," she said.

While Ron initially indicated that anyone else on the ballot was a serious threat, he did not immediately have election signs erected in the City. It wasn't until after McCreath's stand-out performance at the Happy City event, that 'Vote Ellsworth' signs started appearing all over the city.

McCreath says that any serious candidate should welcome the opportunity to further pursue public engagement, by agreeing to discuss and debate the issues versus any and all opponents. She questions the sincerity and integrity of any candidate who seems to think they can fly under the radar without having to take the tough questions, "Ultimately, I think people want City Councilors who are not afraid to accept the spotlight or the microscope. They want people who are willing to demonstrate pro-active leadership in the form of taking the tough questions head on," said McCreath.

One of McCreath's primary platform pledges is to take steps to make City Council more transparent and accountable, and to take steps to improve public confidence in the political system. "We need every member of this City to take an interest and put forward their ideas. While 11 people will sit on this Council, the entire population needs to take ownership of their City, and Council has a responsibility to take steps to make it easier for people to get engaged and make meaningful contributions," said McCreath. "I will pledge to reply to every e-mail and every phone call, and I will meet in person with anyone that wants to talk face to face. I have nothing to hide and nothing to fear," she said.

To learn more about Jennifer and her platform, see VoteJennifer.Info

 #nlpoli #sjvotes

Jennifer McCreath Votes!

It's not every day that you get to cast a ballot that contains your own name. History was made today as I dropped off my ballot in the voting mail box at City Hall. While no major media attended, I was joined by a small crowd that included another candidate on the ballot, someone who works for a realty company, and the mailbox maintenance person!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

"Lisa" speaks out against McCreath getting bullied & trolled

Someone named Lisa X who has mixed opinions about my political platform, found herself standing up to bully and trolls who were being vicious towards me on twitter. She wrote a lengthy letter discussing the issues, and has allowed me the chance to publish portions of it here on my blog.

While I have generally tried to ignore the hecklers, the bullying takes it to a next level. and for these specific people - who claim to represent me as so-called LGBT community leaders, have proven that they are not leaders. They have also demonstrate that they have become the very types of enemies that they claim they are here to eliminate. It's great to see someone finally step up and call out this bullying for what it is - politically incorrect, cruel, and unnecessary... Thank you Lisa!!! What makes this even more unique, and what makes Lisa'sefforts more heroic, is that she had to call out her apparent friends and tell them to stop. She recognized her friends were being bullies and had to risk the friendships to tell them to stop. For that, Lisa, you are brave and deserve tons of respect and credibility. and quite frankly Lisa, i tried to be friends with those folks too, once upon a time, but it didn't take long for me to see their true colours.

Anyway, here's excerpts from her letter.

My Very Public Apology - Attention, Twitterverse:

Recently a very public bullying campaign began on social media towards Deputy Mayor Candidate Jennifer McCreath (@Jenn_McCreath). I have, on occasion, disagreed with some of her statements. I believe you can disagree with personal statements without it being an attack on a person, especially in regard to politics. EVERYONE is entitled to differing opinions, it's what makes the world so dynamic.

In an effort to maintain privacy and avoid any public bullying, I sent a friendly email to Jennifer to discuss some issues. Jennifer responded to me very kindly. I am not a Jennifer supporter, we have very different stances on many topics, HOWEVER, I truly appreciated her approachable demeanor and credit her maturity in that regard.

When one of my tweets questioning her opinions was RT'd as a "way to call her out" kind of tweet, I replied to all in that string saying that "@nlnewf @Susanne_GC @Jenn_McCreath I may have disagreed with some of her statements, but please don't include me in your bullying of her." I also followed that statement up with, "I don't endorse @Jenn_McCreath & and I may disagree with many of her statements, however, I fully disagree with ANY bullying of her #NotCool" & "Seeing the fake Twitter accounts created BY ADULTS to bully another adult is beyond immature & cruel. Don't vote for her, that's all. Ugh."

Anyone who follows Jenn on Twitter is very aware of the internet trolling she's endured and how cruel and obscene some of it has been.

To you, Jennifer McCreath, I am so sorry for what you're enduring. Despite our different viewpoints, you've inspired me in a lot of turning of the other cheek. The hate mail I have been getting makes me cry - you're stronger than I am. I may not always agree with you, but dammit, I can respect you. Good luck in your political race.

To those who my anti-bullying tweets offended: Please understand that I respect your opinions and feelings SO MUCH but I simply can't be a part of a public bullying scheme, regardless of how much I do, truly, care for you. I know our friendship is forever destroyed but if you take anything from this, know that I never meant to hurt you.

This is so long. I'm sure no one is even reading this but I still feel better knowing I said my heart and responded kindly and truthfully, in public, to those I hurt. Still doesn't change how much I've been hurt by the hate mail I've been getting but at least it's something.

Peace Out, Twitterati. Be kind to each other.

 #nlpoli #sjvotes #bullying

McCreath will vote at City Hall Thursday Sept 19 at 10.30 am!

History will be made Thursday, September 19, at 10.30 am, out front of the steps of St. John's City Hall, when Deputy Mayor Candidate, Jennifer McCreath, will cast a ballot that contains her own name. Rather than wait for election day at then poll stations, Jennifer will take advantage of the advanced mail-in voting option, by placing her sealed ballot into the special drop box out front of City Hall steps.

While some have questioned Jennifer's motives for putting her name on the ballot, and while some have questioned her chances of winning this particular seat, given the apparent strength of her more-experienced opponent, Jennifer feels it is important for folks who don't traditionally fit the mold of politicians, to step forward and participate in democracy and demonstrate their interest and willingness to take on a leadership position in City governance and stewardship. "I am here to represent the working class. I think I can better relate to the majority of voters, given that I know what if feels like to be in their shoes. I know what it is like to live pay-cheque to pay-cheque; I know what it is like to try to walk on sidewalks covered in snow; I know what it is like to have to spend more than 33% of my income on housing," said McCreath.

While Jennifer has tried to down-play her transgender medical history, in her campaign, she is well aware that she is making history by even putting her name on the ballot, "In the history of Canada, nobody who has been open about their transgender medical history, has ever won a seat at any political level in Canada. In fact, I am only even aware of three other people in this country - all in Ontario, who have even put their name on a ballot," McCreath said. So many people from various oppressed minority groups, are struggling to survive. The last thing on their mind is putting their name on a ballot. "In addition to running for the reasons I have already stated in my platform, I'd like to think I am running on behalf of so many others who for whatever reason, feel unable to do so", said McCreath.

Jennifer encourages people who have not yet voted, to take a look at her website, to learn more about her skill-set and experiences, as well as her platform. Jennifer also invites members of the public, and members of the media, to visit City Hall tomorrow at 10.30 am, as well, to cast their votes.

Facebook Event Link

McCreath addresses question about after-market Motorcycle adjustments

I was recently asked about my thoughts on the act of after-market motorcycle adjustments. After researching the issue, I have come up with the following stance:

Thanks for writing. I have to be honest in the fact that I do not know very much about motorcycles. But I have done some research today and feel I can offer a definitive opinion. I think what concerns me the most about this practice would be taking steps to ensure that these type of modifications do not allow the cycles to emit an unnecessary amount of pollution into the environment. I would also raise concern if these modifications allowed the bikes to be extra loud to the point where the noise levels impede the peaceful enjoyment of residents.

I have been unable to find evidence of any formal regulation, and if this is an unregulated matter, it would definitely concern me.

At the same time, I don't want to suggest that we put too much limitations on motorcycle owners to the point that they can't make changes and improvements to their vehicles, that might make them safer.

Ultimately, my goal as a would-be Deputy Mayor, would be to gain more feedback from the public on issues, such as this one, so that I can advocate for a solution that can best-meet the wants and needs of everyone, as well as put in place a system that is in line with global best-practices.

I would love to hear more from you on this issue, if you have any personal stances, opinions, or suggestions, for this matter.

All the best
 #nlpoli #sjvotes

McCreath addresses Cycling Lane questions!

Here is a response I sent out to a recent question about cycling lanes in St. Johns:

Thanks for writing. Yes there is definitely a problem with too many cars on the road, and yes, I hope to push for better accessible space for pedestrians and cyclists. while i am not totally familiar with the existing plan, compared to other cities i have lived in, St. John's seems to be the least friendly for both cyclists and pedestrians. I'd definitely like to see more cyclist lanes created, such as the one recently created along side of Prince Philip Drive. I recognize that bike lanes might not be possible on all streets, specifically, the narrow ones, but i'd definitely like to work towards increasing the number that we have.

Wow, I was not aware that there was gravel on some of the bike lanes. Yes, it would be my hopes to beef up maintenance resources to ensure they are clean at all times.

Any other questions, please let me know. Would definitely appreciate the vote and will be working hard til election day to get support from those looking for any environmentally friendly approach to transportation.

 #nlpoli #sjvotes

McCreath campaign low budget

CBC news did a story tonight on the insane amounts of money spent by some candidates, in their election advertising. Quite frankly, I find it very suspicious that some folks would spend upwards of $100000 for a job that pays $39000 per year.

In my case, thus far, I have done absolutely no fund-raising. The entire list of campaign expenses are being paid out of my own pocket - a pocket that is rather empty to start with, I might add.  Thus far, I have focused most of my campaign efforts on things that do not require money - such as sending press releases to main stream media, posting blogs and videos on line, being active in social media discussions on political issues, and making personal appearances at forums and public events.

Yes, I have spent a few dollars. I recognize the importance of having at least some election signs around town, so I purchased 100 election signs, for an approximate cost of $1000. I have also spent approx $800 on paper-based campaign literature.  I also spent $4 to register my website domain,

I also rented a car for the month at a cost of approx $1000, which is not technically just for the campaign, but is a necessity for one campaigning all over all 5 wards in this city.

I am also proud to say that all of my paper-based literature has been hand-delivered, either by me, or by one of my volunteers, and every single one has been hand-signed in ink - to demonstrate a personal touch. I have not gone the route of bulk photocopying and delivery via Canada Post.

I really hope that voters will take notice of these extra efforts being made by not just me, but other Candidates who are running small campaigns.  Votes should be earned based on platform, resume of experience, and personalities - and not just on one's ability to spend money!

 #nlpoli #sjvotes

My Thoughts on the term "Newfie"

VOCM Radio has a poll on their website today, asking for input about the term "Newfie" in light of the fact that a Newfie Lane street has been created and named in Nova Scotia. Here is what I had to say:

"While the term may be embraced by some, growing up in Nova Scotia and Ontario, the term was always used in a negative context, falsely implying that all Newfoundlanders were stupid. The 'Newfie Jokes' I heard growing up, were always quite offensive and inaccurate of what I now known Newfoundlanders to be all about."

Happy City offers Rides to Poll Stations!

This came in from Happy City:

Hi Candidates!
As part of our effort to nudge turnout along this election season, we'll be offering rides on the 24th for anyone who needs to get down to their ward's polling location. We're guessing that there won't be a ton of demand, but we think it's important to offer the option.
So: Feel free to direct people to us on election day. An email to or a call to 709-763-5216 will fetch the Votemobile!
We imagine that some of you/your campaign teams might be offering a similar service - if you are, please let us know the details and contact info; it might make sense for us to refer people your way, especially if there is more demand than anticipated.
Josh Smee,
Chair, Happy City

Saturday, September 14, 2013

St. John's Ward 2 All-Candidates Debate on Video! 9/10/13

Well, since mainstream media did not cover this event, I decided to take a night off campaigning to sit in the audience as an observer and television producer.  So rather than give you my analysis on what I saw, I will simply point you in the direction of the following recordings, which depict the entire evening! Jonathan Galgay, Scott Fitzgerald, and Andrew Harvey all attended the event, and all spoke about the various issues raised by citizens. (also depicted is the Moderator).

01 - Intros
02 - Community Development
03 - Harbour Fence
04 - Sidewalk Snow Clearing
05 - Transparency
06 - City Engagement
07 - Trust
08 - Women In Politics (with audience cheap shot attack on Jennifer McCreath)
09 - Vacant Grocery Stores
10 - Recycling
11 - Newspaper Surveys
12 - Building Neighbourhoods
13 - Intergovernmental Relations
14 - Affordable Housing
15 - Smart Development
16 - Emcee Closing Remarks

Friday, September 13, 2013

McCreath responds to Transportation Committee of the Friends of Pippy Park!

In response to a request in writing to me from the Transportation Committee of the Friends of Pippy Park, I am pleased to pledge my general support for the addition of public transportation, such as a bus route, throughout Pippy Park, so that valuable services offered to the public, can be more accessible.

I recognize the value of the following products and services and will be supportive of taking steps to ensure more people are able to physically attend them, if I am elected to City Council:

Suncor Energy Fluvarium
Ches Penny Y
Husky Energy Easter Seals House
MUN Botanical Gardens
MacMorran Community Garden
Mercy Center for Ecology and Justice
The Elaine Dobbin Centre for Autism
Food Education Action St. John’s (FEASt) Family Garden
Rainbow Riders
Pippy Park Golf course
Pippy Park Campground

For questions or interviews, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Jennifer McCreath
Candidate for Deputy Mayor - City of St. John's

Old St. John's Pride By-Laws

Several people have reached out and asked me, as of late, what happened to the Corporate By-Laws that were put in place during my tenure with St. John's Pride Inc.  A simple answer, is, that I don't know.

During my tenure, the Corporate By-Laws were a public document. With this in mind, I am happy to provide an archived snapshot of what the By-Laws looked like on my last day of involvement. For information about current Pride by-laws, I would encourage folks to contact the organization directly.

Historical Archive of St. John's Pride Inc Corporate By-Laws, as of March 6, 2012:

St. John's Pride Inc.  Corporate By-Laws

Amendment of By-Laws

  • The initial By-Laws were formally created and accepted as company policy by the quorum at the inaugural Board of Directors meeting, held at Head Office on October 22, 2010. They were amended by the Board on March 5, 2012 to accommodate a change in corporate structure that would allow public voting to the Board.

Mandate as stipulated in Articles of Incorporation:

  • The company will provide and/or facilitate the delivery of educational and/or advocacy products and services to the general public about LGBTQ issues.
  • The company will provide and/or facilitate networking and issue awareness entities for the LGBTQ community and their stakeholders, including the general public.
  • This company will coordinate and deliver public events that celebrate and promote the visibility of LGBTQ people and their accomplishments.

Limitations of Corporate Activities as stipulated in Articles of Incorporation:

  • This company will not endorse registered Political Parties, or registered Political Candidates.
  • This company will not accept donations from registered Political Parties.
  • This company will not endorse registered Religions.
  • This company will not directly provide formal medical advice to members of the general public.
  • This company will not directly provide formal legal advice to members of the general public.

Legal Requirements of Non-Profit Corporations in the Province:

  • The corporation has no authorized share capital.
  • The corporation is not to be carried on with pecuniary gain to its members.
  • Any profits or other accretions are to be used only in furthering its undertaking.
  • Upon the incorporation of the Corporation, each first director becomes a member thereof.
  • Upon dissolution of the corporation and after payment of all of its debts and liabilities, all remaining property shall be distributed or disposed of to organizations in the Province, the undertaking of which is charitable or beneficial to the community.

Board of Directors:

  • The Board of Directors have full control and responsibility of the organization.

Decision-Making Model (Board of Director level):

  • Consensus is the primary decision making process used by the Directors. When consensus cannot be reached, a 75% majority will be required, except if directors = or less than 3, then 66% will be required. This formula will apply to all corporate decisions unless otherwise noted in these By-Laws.

Board of Director Business:

  • Formal board of director meetings shall occur every three months, and additionally as required as per Decision-Making Model.

  • Date of meeting and agenda shall be communicated to all directors not less than 5 days in advance. 

  • Directors may postpone meetings at the last minute due to perceived extenuating circumstances, as per Decision-Making Model. 

  • Directors who fail to attend meetings may be subjected to removal of power for said meeting by Decision-Making Model.

  • Existing Board of Directors shall have the power to remove directors at Board of Director meetings. The Board shall give notice to the Director of the intention to consider removal at least five days in advance of the meeting which will consider the matter.  The Director shall have the right to participate in the meeting to demonstrate why they should not be removed.  Directors, in their notice, must cite a reason such as: failure to live up to corporate obligations as Directors, failure to make one available to conduct corporate business, appears to be in violation of corporate Policies and/or Procedures.  All Directors except for the one whose membership is in question, must agree to the removal for it to proceed.

  • Any future additions to the Board will require a vote of confidence. This will occur by nature of a Membership vote at a Membership Meeting that will be called by a Board member and booked with not less than 7 days notice. In lieu of a formal membership program, additions the Board shall require a vote of confidence by the general public at a public meeting that has been booked and advertised on the Pride website not less than 7 days in advance. A minimum of 25 eligible voters must cast ballots in order for the election to be valid. This is to demonstrate public interest and confidence in the Board addition. Should less than 25 eligible voters be present at the vote, the Board will appoint a replacement based on Decision-Making Model. 

  • All Board seats shall be contested in a vote of confidence at an Annual General Meeting that is to take place between Sept 14 and Dec 14 of each year. The meeting shall be open to the public and shall be booked and advertised on the Pride website not less than 14 days in advance.  Voting shall occur by Membership, unless no membership program exists. In that case, the general public shall vote. A minimum of 25 eligible voters must cast ballots in order for the election to be valid. This is to demonstrate public interest and confidence in the Board changes. Should less than 25 eligible voters be present at the vote, the outgoing Board will appoint a replacement Board based on Decision-Making Model. 

Head Office:

  • Head Office must be situated within the City of St. John's, NL.

By-Law Amendments:

  • Amendments to these By-Laws require unanimous consent from all Board members. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

McCreath Responds to Happy City Survey 9/12/13

The Happy City Group has asked me to respond to a survey on Municipal Election Issues. Here is the responses I provided.

Questions submitted by the Happy City Community

1) What changes (if any) would you make to the planning process in St. John's?

First of all, would like the planning process to be made public, so folks like myself, who have never been part of council, will have an idea of what the planning process looks like. Only then, can i make strong suggestions on how it can be improved.

2) What should city council and the mayor's office do to make St. John's more pedestrian-friendly?

Sidewalk snow clearing is a major issue. We need to stop driving bulldozers over sidewalks and start using proper plows. we also need to plow the sidewalks at the same time we plow the streets. Other cities have figured out how to do this, and there is no excuse for us not to.

3) Please state your position on the idea of mandating that a proportion of units in new residential developments be affordable.

While I want to see steps taken to address the affordable housing, I'm hesitant to create formal legislation forcing this to happen. I'd rather create incentive programs for developers, and partnerships with developers, to ensure that this matter can be addressed in a way that won't discourage developers to take on projects.

4) What is your vision for heritage preservation – how can we increase and promote our built and intangible heritage?

Buildings declared historic should not be destroyed, no exceptions!

5) I have not seen green spaces provided in new subdivisions. What ideas are forthcoming to address ongoing developments? legislation should be created to force the creation and/or preservation of green space, in new developments.

6) Is the current number of councilors needed? Should it be lower? Higher?

As this city grows, I sense the workload on councilors will increase. at the same time, I am not sure we need 4 at large positions. I'd be in favour of reducing the amount of councilors, but at the same time, I suspect we need more than just the mayor to be considered full-time.

7) Should St. John’s build more shared (bike/pedestrian) pathways around the city? Given that many runners prefer to run on asphalt rather than the concrete sidewalk, should the city consider replacing some of its sidewalks with such shared pathways?

If it is feasible to do this, then yes.

8) Some parts of St. John’s have an excellent walking trail network. Should green spaces with walking and biking trails be a part of all new developments? What about bike lanes?

I am definitely in favour of having walking trails in all neighbourhoods. if the market requests bike trails and bike lanes, then they should also be considered.

9) Do you believe that workers in essential services such as public transit should have an alternate means of dispute resolution so that labour disputes do not cause a disruption of services and undue hardship on those relying on those services?

Most jurisdictions have provincial legislation that can require workers deemed 'essential' to report to work, even during a strike or lock out. if this is not already in place, then I would look to engage the Provincial Government to put such a thing in place.

10) The St. John’s Board of Trade wrote: “Transit Oriented Development increases accessibility and transportation options through land use clustering and mixing, and non-motorized transportation improvements. This reduces distances for car trips, allows a greater portion of trips to be made by walking and cycling, and allows some households to reduce their car ownership. Together, this can largely reduce vehicle travel, reduce total transportation costs and create a more livable community.” What is your stance on Transit Oriented Development?

100% supportive of this!

11) Do you believe that the development plan for the North East Avalon Region should incorporate a traffic-reduction strategy?


Questions on Dialogue, Communication and Public Engagement

1) What changes, if any, would you want to make to the city’s system of public consultations on development issues?

Incorporate interactive online feedback options, in addition to in person and mail-in options.

2) What do you think about the City’s use of social media? Are there further opportunities available for creative use of these tools? If so, what are they, and what obstacles might they face?

The city currently does use social media. I would strongly encourage growth in social media use to extend outreach and public engagement.

3) Would you support a redesign of the city’s public notices to improve readability and increase interest from the general public? Would this be worth pursuing if it meant amending the relevant provincial legislation?


4) How could the city engage residents more thoroughly in the budgeting process? Would you support any sort of “participatory budgeting” process that allowed citizens to vote directly on budget priorities?

I am definitely supportive of having as much citizen engagement as possible, yet at the same time, I would raise caution about a small amount of citizens having the authority to vote on budget issues. final say should be in the hands of City Council.

5) Happy City has heard a number of ideas on how to make public meetings and council meetings more welcoming to citizens. Would you support the following?

a. Providing child care during public meetings
b. Taking questions via Facebook and Twitter during meetings
c. Posting footage of meetings online
d. Allowing citizen deputations at meetings of council
e. Encouraging developers to meet with citizens and gather input before developing a proposal for a piece of land

Yes to all of these!

6) Are there any other ideas you have for making the City more responsive to citizen input?

Restore Faith in Government Process by the following:

- Better citizen engagement
- More transparency
- Pro-active accountability
- Streamline service delivery

Increase Cooperation and collaboration:

- Get the City working better with neighbouring cities & towns
- Develop better working relationship with provincial & federal governments
- Form stronger relationships between city, citizens, and businesses

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Ellsworth Declines Debate with McCreath! 9/11/2013

Well, the challenge has been answered, and declined!  This message was received on Facebook this morning in response to my quest to have Ron Ellsworth debate Jennifer McCreath regarding municipal issues:

Ellsworth 2013 While debates are a great way to get to know candidates and where they stand, I have been working for many months now to communicate my message to voters and let them know where I stand. At this point in the campaign my focus is on ensuring all residents receive their ballots and get out to cast their vote. Best of luck with the rest of the campaign.

This is the first time I have ever heard of a politician backing down from a debate because they were busy making sure people are getting their ballots.  The ballots were sent via Canada Post - perhaps one of the most safe and secure way to ensure that people get their ballots safely.

I'll let you all jump to your own conclusions about this, but from my point of view, I can't see myself voting for any politician that declines or refuses to attend a debate on the issues.

I am disappointed that an opportunity to demonstrate my superior debating skills over Ellsworth, will not take place. Quite frankly, I can't blame him. Nobody wants to be embarrassed in a debate by someone who entered the race as a major underdog. At the same time, I think it is very disrespectful and undemocratic of him to shy away from this moral responsibility.  All-candidate debates are an important part of elections, and for this guy to shy away, shows his true colours.

For my stance on the issues, you can read my entire comprehensive platform at VoteJennifer.Info

#nlpoli #sjvotes

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

McCreath challenges Ellsworth to a debate! 9/9/13

This is an open letter that was published on My facebook and Ron's facebook sites today. Given that the majore media only seems interested in Mayor candidates, i proposed that the two Deputy Mayor candidates get together to discuss the issues in front of a live audience.  Let's hope Ron agrees to do this!

"So let me come right out and suggest it. How bout myself and Ron Ellsworth engage in a discussion about the issues, in front of a room full of undecided voters. How bout it Ron? Wally Layman suggested i ask you for this. Even if we are on the same page for many issues, it will give voters a chance to compare our speaking styles and ideas... how bout it Ron?? i can do tomorrow night, wednesday afternoon, or friday night.... being totally serious here.. pls let me know! 753-9529"


 #nlpoli #sjvotes

Monday, September 9, 2013

McCreath cancels Colonial Bldg Event today! 9/9/13

Canceling 12 noon event at Colonial Bldg today due to sore throat and fever. Gonna have a day of rest. :(

Hope to be back on the campaign trail tomorrow!


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Democracy Rally, Sept 9, noon Colonial Bldg!

For Immediate Release: Democracy Rally, Sept 9, noon Colonial Bldg!

Deputy Mayor Candidate, Jennifer McCreath, has organized a voters "Democracy Rally' for 12 noon Monday Sept 9, at Colonial Building.

This will be an informal grass-roots event that will give voters a chance to come out and meet Jennifer. All other candidates for the St. John's election have been invited to attend and will be offered the floor for a few minutes to speak a few words. Then there will be an open Q & A session for the audience and the media.

More information at this Facebook Event page:

Jennifer McCreath
St. John's, Newfoundland & Labrador

Follow @Jenn_McCreath Tweet

Saturday, September 7, 2013

McCreath vows to quit day job if elected, & accept salary freeze!

For Immediate Release:

St. John's, Deputy Mayoral Candidate, Jennifer McCreath, says she is well aware of public concern about City Council salary escalation. She is also aware of concerns surrounding council absenteeism and accessibility. Jennifer vows that if elected, she will clear her calendar to make a herself available full-time, to this duty. She also recognizes that while the existing salary may be part-time, she is more than happy to do the job on a full-time basis, for the current rate of pay. She says that the current salary is more than enough for her to realize a high standard of living. McCreath says that as this City goes through massive growth, that it is important to have a Deputy Mayor that is 100% committed to the job at all times. McCreath also states that she is in this for the love of her city, and not for financial gains.

Questions or Interviews:

Jennifer McCreath
St. John's, Newfoundland & Labrador

Friday, September 6, 2013

McCreath responds to Telegram Survey for Candidates

1. What is your name?

Jennifer McCreath

2. What spot on council are you vying for or do you already hold?

Deputy Mayor

3. What's the most pressing issue facing the capital city?

I am extremely worried about what appears to be an increase in illegal drug trade, and the associated violent crime that comes with this. I am also concerned about the increase of traffic and its subsequent increase in dangerous driving. I'd like to see more speed bumps put into residential areas to slow down traffic, and I'd like to see more traffic enforcement officers deployed to catch dangerous drivers and get them off the roads.

4. Do you think building height restrictions and heritage regulations should be strictly enforced in designated areas?

Current city council seems to break these rules at random, without any clear cut guideline that demonstrates why or how the rules can be broken. We as a new City council need to engage all citizens to come up with a protocol that everyone can be comfortable with. We need a fine balance between preserving our heritage and allowing suitable growth. While I think it is unavoidable to suggest that no further tall buildings should be erected downtown, I'd like to see a focus on building up in places outside of downtown.

5. Do you support further regionalization of services and facilities, such as public transit and recreation?

We definitely need to take steps to make it easier to transport people in and out of St. John's, from neighbouring towns. Whether this is done through Metrobus alone, or a partnership with other transportation orgs, I'd like to see 'park n ride' programs set up with express bus service, so people can park at the edge of town, and get express shuttle service to areas such as MUN and downtown, in a fast manner.

As far as recreation, i am definitely open to working together with neighbouring towns to come up with better products and services of these natures.

6. Would you support the construction of new arenas to provide more ice time to minor hockey groups, adult recreation hockey teams and figure-skating groups?

There are never too many ice rinks in a place where hockey is our national sport. At the same time, finding suitable ways to finance such projects would be critical. Perhaps forming public-private-partnerships, might be a good way to get more rinks constructed, and rinks that are accessible to all.

7. If St. John's makes a bid for the 2021 Canada Summer Games, how would the city fund the hosting of that event? Would you support the construction of new facilities for the Games, such as a new swimming/diving facility and indoor/outdoor track and field facility?

I love the idea of St. John's hosting a major sporting event, and having new or modified sports facilities will leave a legacy for citizens to use and enjoy for years to come. At the same time, financing a project like this would be expensive. We would have to make sure that we have appropriate resources - including investors, to ensure that we do not put other programs and services at risk, in order to pay for it. If St. John's makes a bid for the 2021 Canada Summer Games, how would the city fund the hosting of that event? Would you support the construction of new facilities for the Games, such as a new swimming/diving facility and indoor/outdoor track and field facility?

8. What would council do to facilitate the signing of a long-term contract between the St. John's IceCaps and the Winnipeg Jets?

It would be my goal to develop good rapport and working relationships with representatives from both teams, so I can best understand what the issues are that may impede the ability to get a long term deal signed. I realize that the Ice Caps have had to take on additional challenges and liabilities - specifically covering travel costs of visiting teams, due to our geographic location. Ultimately, it is important to have this hockey team here. At the same time, we have to make sure that we do not spend an unreasonably high amount of money on them, to the point that other city products and services fall below the expectations levels of citizens. If needed, I would help to find private investors and advertisers for the Ice Caps, to bring in additional revenue needed, to satisfy the Winnipeg Jets.

9. Would you support enforcing conditions on developers which would require them to set aside space for recreation activities (ball fields, soccer pitches) and leisure activities (bike path, walking trails) as part of residential developments?

Yes, I would definitely be in support of an initiative such as this. There are far too many new development neighbourhoods that have all housing and nothing else. This means that folks are forced to travel by car, to do anything, or get anywhere.

10. What can a municipal council do to combat crime?

I think the new City Council needs to push hard to develop stronger relationships with the Provincial and Federal Justice systems, so that they have a strong understanding of the increased challenges we have faced, as a growing city. I would also like to initiate educational programs that proactively engage society on crime prevention work, as well as put together programs that help to understand the root causes for crime, and take steps to proactively prevent it before it happens.

11. What can a municipal council do to address the shortage of affordable housing in St. John's?

I would like to create incentive programs to make it more appealing for developers to create apartment buildings and smaller dwellings, rather than just build mega houses. I would also be open to public-private partnerships, and perhaps even outright City development projects, to ensure low-cost housing units get built in this city.

12. Given the current realities of the economy and the fact that many people's salaries have not kept pace with the rising cost of living, would you support capping residential assessments and increasing commercial mill rates?

We definitely need to take a closer look at existing tax policies to ensure that we are not taxing people too much to the point where their quality of life is suffering. At the same time, i think a sliding scale would be a better approach than an outright cap. Furthermore, we need to also be careful not to over-tax businesses to the point where they are unable to turn a profit deemed suitable to their wants and needs, to the point where they close up shop and take their business elsewhere.

13. What can a municipal council do to encourage business investment in the city?

I think we can demonstrate to any potential businesses, based on our statistics, that we have a thriving economy that contains tons of people who have high levels of disposable income. I think we can also demonstrate that as our city grows, there will be certain neighbourhoods of housing development areas that will be in need of certain types of businesses to come in and complete their neighbourhoods.

14. Would you support a review of conflict of interest rules and the general code of conduct for councillors?

Yes absolutely. Integrity of public office-holders is critically important to having a citizenship population that has trust, faith, and support for the council. Any steps taken to ensure better transparency and accountability, is something I would support. Would you support a review of conflict of interest rules and the general code of conduct for councillors?

15. What can a municipal council do to address the growing gap between rich and poor?

I think we need to work closely with schools to figure out how we can do a better job mapping up young graduates with entry-level jobs in organizations that will allow them to fulfill their potential. It is alarming that there seems to be labour shortages in certain industries, yet at the same time, thousands of St. John's natives seem to be leaving to Fort McMurray to find suitable work.

16. What can a municipal council do to address the downtown parking shortage and traffic flow issues?

We need to come up with alternative ways to get people in and out of downtown, so not everyone has to drive. I'd like to set up park n ride shuttle services on the edge of town, so folks who live outside of the city, can get express shuttle service to MUN and downtown, while being able to leave their cars outside of town.

I'd also like to review Metrobus to see if we can do a better job making the service more efficient, so people will be more likely to take the bus, rather than drive.

I think we also need to promote development of commercial establishments outside of downtown, so more people can work closer to home, and fewer people will have to work down town.

17. Do you think members of council are paid enough?

Considering that 10 of the 11 positions are considered 'part-time', i would suggest that yes, the salary levels are enough. However, given the large rate of growth our city seems to be facing, I would certainly like to take a look at examining whether or not we should consider making more of these positions into full-time rolls.