Wednesday, December 9, 2015

A Transgender Senator? Why not? It's Almost 2016! and it's International Human Rights Day!

My open letter to the Prime Minister, which I emailed him tonight!

December 10, 2015

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,

As I am sure you are aware, Dec. 10 represents International Human Rights Day - in commemoration of Dec. 10, 1948 when the UN declared Universal Human rights.

One of the first things you did after being elected, that caught my attention, was utter the phrase "It's 2015". Ever since that moment, there has been an increased amount of attention paid to the issue of women being under-represented in political offices nation-wide.

As I am sure you are aware, the first female to run as a Federal candidate, and coincidentally, the first female candidate to be elected into the Canadian parliament, was Agnes MacPhail in 1921. It's been a long 96 years, but it is exciting to finally have a Federal Cabinet that has equal representation of male and females.

Unfortunately, equality for other groups in politics remains a challenge. When I heard those words, "It's 2015", the first thing that came to my mind was that it may as well be 1915 for those of us who are transgendered. While it took 54 years from date of Confederation, for Canada to elect a female, it took 148 years for an openly-transgendered person to even appear on a ballot as a candidate - and that candidate garnished a mere 84 votes in a rural Newfoundland riding, for a very small and new political party who is a virtual unknown entity to Canadian's outside of french-speaking Quebec (Forces et Democratie).

While I knew my chances of winning a seat were slim, I hope that by stepping up to the plate as a candidate, and by having the endorsement of a registered political party, I will have encouraged more transgendered Canadians to take an interest in politics and consider offer themselves for public office in the future. Furthermore, I hope that all registered political parties will take trans people more seriously and entertain running them as candidates.

Yesterday, I listened as Randall Garrison tabled a private-member's Bill to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act to include "gender identity and gender expression", a bill quite similar to others that have passed through the three-reading process of the House in the two previous parliaments. As we all know, those bills died on the order table in what many consider to be a broken down senate.

Transgender human rights appear to be the hottest human right's entity of our times. As I sit here typing a mere three weeks before my new-year's-eve 42nd birthday, I can't help but feel concerned that time is not on my side. I cannot wait 96 years for the same equality that women celebrated this year in your Cabinet.

The good news, is that I have an interesting and exciting proposal. While Canadian's might not yet be ready to elect an openly transgender candidate, the situation with the senate presents itself a very unique opportunity. The vacancies in the senate create a huge opportunity for demographics who are under-represented in Government, to find a meaningful seat at a table where a qualified representative could add significant value.

While many people did not take Forces et Democratie seriously, this party was a lifeline for me at a time when i felt utter disgust and pessimism for the current state of Canadian politics. A party that does not have a party line, but allows their MPs to truly bring the issues of their constituents to the table, seemed like a breath of fresh air. This may be exactly what the senate needs in a time where it is dominated by old partisan hacks who have ideologies about human rights, and other issues, that are far outdated.

So I am asking you to please give serious consideration to appointing me, Jennifer McCreath, Canada's first openly-transgender federal political candidate, to the Canadian Senate.

This would be a great opportunity for you to demonstrate your commitment and leadership to the entire country that 1) you plan on taking steps to ensure that all minority groups get a seat at the table, and 2) that future senate appointments will not just go to life-long partisan Liberals.

Furthermore, let me also tell you why I, Jennifer McCreath, the person, not the trans-person, should be taken seriously as a prospective senate candidate:

I boast education, work experience, and volunteer non-profit sector advocacy and activism work that will stand up to just about anyone else who has ever sat in the senate. I hold a Bachelor degree in Administration Management from Canada's most cutting edge university - Athabasca, and I hold a College Diploma in Business Administration from Humber in Toronto.

I have over ten years of work experience in a variety of government environments - including stints with the Feds, the province of Ontario, and the Province of NL, where I have done a variety of policy and business development work. I also have tangible front-line experience in Government rolls dealing with the public, including a stint processing EI claims, and my current role in Police communications accepting 911 calls for police service. I also bring some private sector experience to the table as well, having worked in banking and retail hardware, and wholesale electronic products, among other things.

In my spare time, I co-founded St. John's Pride Incorporated, and helped turn pride week celebrations in Newfoundland from a small underground event, into a week-long celebration that involves and includes many corporate and citizen community partners. I have also undertaken significant work in the field of transgender inclusion in international sports, as I penned a non-binary-gender-inclusion policy, that was ultimately accepted and put into practice by the World Outgames in 2009 - where I also became the first formally-recognized transgender marathon runner and distance swimmer in the world. I have also written and applied a "transition in the workplace" policy, as well as have created a Resource Guide for transitioning in the province of NL. Finally, I have organized and delivered a variety of trans education and awareness events at town halls and schools all over the country.

Finally, I bring some impressive pedigree to the table. My mother spent 25 years as a senior policy adviser for the Ontario Ministry of Education, and my father spent years as a high school teacher, broadcast journalist, Human Rights adjudicator at both a Federal and Provincial level, and did a stint as an MP where he served a short stint as a Cabinet Minister under Canada's only female Prime Minister, Kim Campbell.

Perhaps the biggest challenge trans people face today, is that we are still not taken seriously by our fellow human beings. We generally possess excellent education and work experiences, and tests have shown that we generally rate high on the various aptitude and IQ tests that can be done on people. Yet, we find ourselves chronically underemployed, often living in poverty, and often deal with family and friends who abandon us. Sure, some people might question you if you were to appoint me to the Senate, but you know, I think the perfect answer, would be a great follow up to your previous answer. 2015 was a great year. But let's make 2016 even better. Why appoint a credible and experienced transgendered person to the senate? Well, It's 2016!!!!

In closing, since it is a Thursday, I am attaching a little #ThrowbackThursday photo of when we met briefly for a chat in 2012, at an event organized by the amazing Siobhan Coady, an NL Liberal who was supportive of trans people and trans issues many many years before it became on the radar of being politically correct.

Look forward to hearing from you, and thanks for taking the time to read my little e-mail.

Jennifer McCreath
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

McCreath's reaction to Trans NL Vital Stats policy receives praise!

My spur-of-the-moment comments that I post for online articles are not something I normally blog about, but this one seems to have gotten a great deal of positive reaction and response.. so here it is... The context of this post is regarding the news that Service NL has been ordered by a court to allow transgender-identified people to change their ID documents without requiring surgical procedures:

Part One:

.....I think the education system needs to a better job educating people about the difference and dichotomy between gender and sex.. I also think we need to review access, privacy, and identity proofing laws.... A fundamental value of the privacy act is to only collect, use, or disclose personal information that is absolutely necessary...

How one person sees themselves in terms of being on a masculine or feminine scale, is none of anyone's business, nor does it have anything to do with their body parts....

We used to ask parents to classify their new born babies with race, creed, and religious values... all without giving the baby a chance to grow up and decide for themselves which religion they want to practice, let alone allow them the opportunity to keep that information private....

If a trans-identified person wants to purchase liquor at a store, there is no need for the person to have to out themselves as trans when they show ID that is only needed to prove their age...

Part Two:

Also, what's being lost in the shuffle: it's nice to see some movement on ID changing policies, the health care policies still lag behind in NL. many trans folks can't find doctors willing to work with them on both trans and non-trans health matters.. furthermore, the current policies are full of red tape that actually cause the tax payers more money to help trans people, than is necessary...

Part Three:

Being trans is tough.. being trans while living in NL is even tougher.. so many trans folks leave here for a better life in Toronto or Vancouver.. I feel privileged that i have been able to make a life for myself here.... I can only hope that the day comes that we can all be treated equally and taken seriously by society and all government agencies

Friday, November 20, 2015

My tribute to NL Music Legend Ron Hynes 1950-2015

I am completely shocked and saddened that we lost Ron Hynes last night. When I moved to NL in 2007, I was told that if I liked the Eagles and Gordon Lightfoot, that I should grab Hynes' Cryer's Paradise CD. This record totally blew me away. Perhaps the most amazing piece of music I have ever heard. Weeks later, after buying Face to the Gale, Get Back Change, and Standing In Line in the Rain, I was hooked. This was now one of my top 5 favourite music artists in the entire world.

I would be fortunate enough to see him play live concerts 7 times between 2007-2013 and met and chat with him on numerous occasions. While I was told he could sometimes be in a foul mood, he was also great to me, and was always totally 100% accepting of me.

One of my favourite comments Ron made on stage one night, was when he was asked at the last-minute to open a show for Steve Miller Band at the Mile One Centre. He said "I missed a chance to fly to Toronto tonight to see the Eagles play, but it is worth it to be here with you all tonight!"

Another classic joke he once told from the stage was "If you have a request, just jot it down on a 50 dollar bill and bring it up to the stage and we'll be happy to play it for you".

When I was going through some very tough times in 2009, including losing my job and my apartment, I often contemplated leaving NL. It even came to me making a list of pros and cons to staying vs leaving, and being able to continue to see and hear Ron play live concerts at the Fat Cat blues club made my list of reasons to stay.. I'm glad I did!

(Photos: me with Ron in 2013, and Ron on the Fat Cat stage in 2009).

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Jennifer McCreath endorses NL Provincial Progressive Conservatives!

It's been an interesting year in provincial politics here in Newfoundland and Labrador. We have watched the NDP and Progressive Conservatives choose new party leaders, and we have also watched the Liberals sit back and coast after winning several by-elections in 2012-13.

Now that the provincial campaign has been underway for a while, I have paid close attention to what these three parties have to say. While it is common knowledge that I have had many battles with former Progressive Conservative Government's lead by Danny Williams and Kathy Dunderdale, I have seen a significant change since Paul Davis was named the new leader a year ago.

As we look at the specifics of the campaign, it appears to me that the Liberals have no plan. They think they can win an election based on simply stating that they represent 'change', however, it seems unclear as to what sort of change they have to offer. Davis also represents change, and anyone that takes a look at his new Blue Print will clearly see that this is a party with a clear a vision and plan.

Most importantly, having engaged and even collaborated with many members from all three parties, I must honestly state that the Progressive Conservative candidates stand out to me as the ones who are most practical and the ones who take me and my issues seriously.

I am excited to endorse the Paul Davis-lead NL provincial Progressive Conservatives, and District of Mount Scio candidate Rhonda Churchill Herder.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Jennifer McCreath comes out as Non-Binary Gender Identity!

I might as well state the obvious: While my status as a transsexual from male to female was and will always be binary, gender identity is a completely different matter.

I have some feminine traits, I also have some masculine traits. I also have other traits that could be defined as both or neither. Gender is a social construct - a theory that we all should act the same way based on genitals. Well, I am not like that.

The non-binary movement within the trans community is starting to become oppressed from the rest of the trans community, and I am proud to say that I am a part of both movements, and I look forward to raising both the trans flag and non-binary flag (depicted on this post) in the upcoming years ahead!

This is the internationally-recognized Non-Binary flag, (which is not to be confused with the "genderqueer" flag, which is green, white and purple - a label that is not one I am comfortable with).

Overall, I hate labels, but non-binary best fits where I stand on the 'gender' spectrum. Sex wise, I am a binary transsexual male to female. That's a medical procedure I had in 2011 which was necessary, but it isn't a life event that will define me or be my legacy.

What does this mean for pronouns? Well, I hate pronouns.  I'd prefer feminine pronouns over masculine promouns, but also welcome gender neutral pronouns. Ultimately, I just want to be known as Jennifer McCreath the person!

For more information, here's a lengthy and detailed video I filmed last night to explain more

Thursday, October 22, 2015

10-21-2015 COD-NL Political Debate Youtube Links!

Part 1  Part 2  Part 3  Part 4
Part 5  Part 6  Part 7  Part 8
Part 9  Part 10  Part 11  Part 12
Part 13

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

International Trigeminal Neuralgia Day of Awareness - October 7, 2015

International Trigeminal Neuralgia Day of Awareness - St. John's, NL - October 7, 2015.

Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN) is a neuropathic disorder that is characterized by episodes of intense pain in the face, originating from the trigeminal nerve. The pain is so intense that the condition has been known as Suicide headaches. The trigeminal nerve is a mixed cranial nerve responsible for sensory data such as tactition (pressure), thermoception (temperature), and nociception (pain) originating from the face above the jawline; it is also responsible for the motor function of the muscles of mastication, the muscles involved in chewing but not facial expression. It is estimated that 1 in 15000 people in the world suffer from this condition. It is more common in females than males.

In 2013, the first ever International Day of Awareness for TN was launched and events were held all over the world, including one in Cavendish, NL, in honour of two locals who suffer from this condition. In 2014, there was a small commemorative event in St. John's, that was co-hosted by Jennifer McCreath, a well-known local political and social activist, and Kim Noftall, also of St. John's, who suffers from Trigeminal Neuralgia.

Kim, Jenn, and others are in the process of launching the province's first formal non-profit organization that will have a mandate of raising education and awareness about this medical condition, as well as lobby for research into finding a cure. The organization hopes to launch in 2016.

While no event is planned in St. John's this year, Jenn and Kim encourage people to wear teal blue, as this is the official colour of facial pain on October 7, 2015.

For more information:

Jennifer McCreath
twitter: jenn_mccreath

Additional Resourcecs:

Trigeminal Neuralgia Support Group - based in Cavendish, NL

Trigeminal Neuralgia Association of Canada

International Petition for World Health Organization

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Jennifer McCreath launches Democracy Consent Tour! Sept 27!

Jennifer McCreath Democracy Consent Tour

Prospective federal electoral candidate for Avalon, Jennifer McCreath, representing Strength in Democracy, requires consent from the electorate in order to become a candidate. She needs at least 100 signatures of people who live in the riding of Avalon.

Come out and meet Jennifer and get a copy of her flyer, and give her permission to be on the ballot!

Your signature will only give Jennifer consent to be on the ballot, you are not obligated to vote for her or join her political party.

She will be making a total of 10 stop in 8 towns on Sunday. Here's her schedule:

Paradise Town Hall 11 am - 11.20 am

Topsail Beach (literally right on the beach!) 11.40 am - 12 noon

Conception Bay South Town Hall 12.20 pm - 12.40 pm

Holyrood Beach (on the boardwalk) 1.20 pm - 1.40 pm

Brigus Town Hall 2.30 pm - 2.50 pm

Bay Roberts - out front of Elections Canada office 3.30 pm - 3.50 pm

Bay Roberts - Town Hall 4.00 - 4.20 pm

Harbour Grace - on the boardwalk by the S.S. Kyle 4.45 pm - 5.15 pm

Harbour Grace - Out front of the Court House 5.20 pm - 5.40 pm

Carbonear - Town Hall 6.00 pm - 6.20 pm

Facebook Event Link

questions or more info:

Jennifer McCreath
twitter @Jenn_McCreath

Monday, September 21, 2015

McCreath out of CBC debate, nomination struggles, La Presse to visit NL!

September 22, 2015 - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

McCreath out of CBC debate, nomination struggles, La Presse to visit NL!

Prospective Strength in Democracy candidate for the riding of Avalon, NL, Jennifer McCreath, has announced that she will pull out of this Thursday's CBC Radio all-candidates debate. Jennifer also announced that her campaign and candidacy has hit a snag, but that she has a special day planned Sunday, with visitors from Quebec following her around, in hopes of rejuvenating her campaign!

McCreath was initially one of the front-runners, publicly declaring her intent to run back in July. McCreath knew she had a challenging task ahead, as the candidate registration process requires both a $1000 deposit, as well as at least 100 nomination signatures from registered voters in the riding. While this may be a mere formality for political parties and candidates with deep roots of support, and a large war chest of cash, for McCreath, these are atributes that she does not have.

Representing a brand new political party that literally had no prior membership or presence in NL, McCreath set out, literally, on her own, to promote both the party and her potential candidacy, knocking on one door at a time. Initially, McCreath did very well, as she was able to convince 50 strangers to sign her nomination papers within the first few weeks, and had many others express support, even though they did not feel comfortable signing the document.

However, things changed. As August became September, the willingness of the electorate to support McCreath's candidacy jammed on the breaks, and McCreath's campaign began to take serious hits. First of all, her would-be Agent had to resign in order to accept a new employment opportunity. Then, the support at the door started dropping off.

In September thus far, McCreath has only been able to gain 10 more signatures. She also had to cross a few names off the list, as one nominator got spooked after learning about the "Paul Davis 2015" endorsement scandal, and said that due to their career as a public servant, they no longer felt comfortable having their name on her papers. Then, two other nominators had to be removed because while they initially thought that they lived in the riding, the new updated boundaries put them elsewhere.

McCreath was scheduled to file her nomination papers this week with Elections Canada, but she has postponed the meeting to Monday September 28, the deadline for applications to be filed.

McCreath is perplexed as to why the August tsunami of support, quickly faded into this massive lull. She says she can't be certain as to the reasons, but is hoping that a couple of campaign strategy changes, combined with some upcoming Quebec media attention, will help get her over the hump and onto the ballot.

McCreath is no stranger to nomination troubles as 2 years ago, she couldn't even find 2 people willing to sign her nomination papers for her to run as Deputy Mayor candidate in the St. John's election, until she went public to the media with her challenge. She subsequently not only found 2 signatures, but she went on to capture 5725 votes in a losing effort to Ron Ellsworth.

McCreath found it very strange that her public support in 2013 was almost nil, yet support for her from the privacy of the ballot box, was much higher. She can only speculate on the reasons why, but suspects that whatever those reasons are, they continue to plague her ability to gain public support at this time. Meanwhile, she remains cautiously optimistic that that the potential for private support on voting day, is enough that she can still win this seat, "I saw the recent poll results today, which did not include me, and I took note that 17% stated that they were undecided and 4% were unaccounted for. Combine these undecided votes with the 40% of electorate who traditionally don't vote at all, and there are still lots of votes out there that are up for grabs, and if I can find a way to grab even half of those, then I can still win this 6-way race, if I can get onto the ballot, given that we are using a first-past-the-post system," said McCreath.

On the bright side of things, McCreath will be the focus of a video documentary entitled "A Day in the Life of Jennifer McCreath's Campaign", which will be filmed this Sunday by Quebec media outlet, La Presse, who is taking Strength in Democracy very seriously. They will be flying in two people from Quebec to follow McCreath around for the day. Jennifer will plan a series of publicity events, which she hopes will attract enough people willing to come forward and sign her papers.

Given that as of Thursday, Jennifer will not yet be an officially registered candidate, she feels that it is not fair to CBC, her opponents, or the constituents of Avalon, that she take up time and space at the debate, "Until I become an officially registered Candidate, my campaign and candidacy does not technically or legally exist. With this in mind, it's only fair that I step down and that I focus my attention this week on doing whatever it takes to get enough signatures," said McCreath.

Regardless of what happens, McCreath will hold a press conference Monday Sept 28 in Bay Roberts out front of the Elections Canada district office, tenatively scheduled for 10.30 am.

Meanwhile, McCreath's publicity tour will start on Wednesday at MUN 12 noon, as she will be in attendance for the upcoming Duty to Accommodate protest, being organized by MUNSU. While MUN is not in the riding of Avalon, McCreath recognizes that many students commute to school from parts of the riding.

McCreath's Sunday schedule includes the following events, where she will give a brief statement, take questions, and mingle with attendees. In between events, she will plan to do some random door-knocking, when time allows.

Paradise Town Hall 11 am - 11.20 am

Topsail Beach (literally right on the beach!) 11.40 am - 12 noon

Conception Bay South Town Hall 12.20 pm - 12.40 pm

Holyrood Beach (on the boardwalk) 1.20 pm - 1.40 pm

Brigus Town Hall 2.30 pm - 2.50 pm

Bay Roberts - out front of Elections Canada office 3.30 pm - 3.50 pm

Bay Roberts - Town Hall 4.00 - 4.20 pm

Harbour Grace - on the boardwalk by the S.S. Kyle 4.45 pm - 5.15 pm

Harbour Grace - Out front of the Court House 5.20 pm - 5.40 pm

Carbonear - Town Hall 6.00 pm - 6.20 pm

Questions and Interviews:

Jennifer McCreath
twitter @Jenn_McCreath

Thursday, September 3, 2015

McCreath Recants Previous Suggestion on Ranked Ballots

After further discussion with representatives from Fair Vote Canada, Strength In Democracy candidate for Avalon, NL, Jennifer McCreath, has recanted her suggestion of having single-elected MPs based on a ranked ballot points system.  She understands that this method still has potential holes and flaws.  She has committed to working with Fair Vote Canada, if elected, to take their three proposed models of electoral reform, to the people of her riding for further consultation.

Jennifer also provided the following to Fair Vote Canada: "I'd like to see electoral reform that will allow elections results that better reflect the will of the electorate while protecting the right of regional representation, and not creating a disadvantage to independent candidates. I'd also like to see a system put in place to allow more free votes in the House so that MPs don't always have to tote the party line on stances that might be disadvantageous to their local ridings."

Questions or Interviews:

Jennifer McCreath

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Jennifer McCreath supports Electoral Reform

Fair Vote Canada reached out to all Federal candidates today asking for feedback on the current 'first past the post' election system. Strength In Democracy candidate for Avalon, NL, Jennifer McCreath, made it clear that she does NOT support the current system. She would would agree to engage Fair Vote Canada and/or any other citizen-focused organization in consultation regarding change, and she even proposed a new system of change. Jennifer suggested that local candidates should still be specifically elected, but that they be elected based on a voting ranking system, rather than a first past the post concept.

Jennifer proposed that voters assign rankings to all candidates on the ballot, and that they earn points based on amount of 1st place votes, 2nd place votes, 3rd place votes, etc.  She feel this would ensure that the elected representative would have a stronger sense of public confidence. She also feel that a system of this nature would not give an unfair advantage to large parties, small parties, or independent candidates. She says the first past the post system is unfair as majority Governments can exist with less than a majority of support from the electorate, and that this is undemocratic.

Questions or Interviews

Jennifer McCreath

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Jennifer McCreath tells Premier Paul Davis to Mind His Own Business!

Strength in Democracy Candidate for Riding of Avalon, NL, Jennifer McCreath criticizes NL Premier Paul Davis on her latest Youtube video, for suggesting that NL should strategically vote in MPs in an effort to ensure they have at least one MP in the Governing caucus, rather than vote based on the best candidate or other criteria. Jennifer tells Premier Paul to keep out of her business.

Jennifer McCreath


Monday, August 10, 2015

Jennifer McCreath wants "Progressive" conservative votes in Avalon, NL!

Strength In Democracy candidate for the riding of Avalon, NL, Jennifer McCreath posted a passionate speech on her Youtube site today. Jennifer has asked for "progressive" conservative voters to jump on board her "Marathon To Democracy" tour.

After introducing herself in the video, she takes people back in time to the glory days of the early 1990s - the days when the Progressive Conservative Party existed and lead Canada's Government. She reminds the viewers of two great Canadians who served in the Cabinet: The Honourable John Crosbie, Minister of Fisheries, and the Honourable Peter McCreath, Minister of Veteran's Affairs.

Jennifer then fast-forwards back to today, when she takes note that the Harper conservatives are nothing like the Progressive Conservatives. She notes that Harper has not only stuck his nose into the business of local riding association reps who recommended that Ches Crosbie run for the party, but took note that similar interference has taken place elsewhere. Jennifer pleas with the voters to not plug their nose and "vote for which ever puppet Stephen Harper decides to run as a candidate".

Jenn also takes note that she is well aware of the concerns many people have for the Liberals and NDP parties.  She specifically reminds people of the corruption scandals we say during Liberal Government eras, such as the sponsorship scandal.  She also takes note that Justin Trudeau has been sending mixed messages, depending on which audience he has been talking to as of late.  Jenn also takes note that the Liberals on one hand, claim to be open to the point where they would allow anybody to vote in their leadership race, yet they kick two sitting MPs out of caucus over allegations before they had a fair trial. Jenn says Trudeau is "confused" and that the Liberals might "not even know who they are or what they stand for".

Jennifer also makes note of how Thomas Mulcair has made promises to write cheques that McCreath does not think he can cash.  She raises concern how the NDP appear interested in helping "the little guys" but from McCreath's perspective, they only care about people with "big wallets who work for unions and rich lawyers".  Jennifer also reminds viewers of the time Thomas made an endorsement for the 2013 mayoral race of St. John's, long before a campaign had started and long before his endorsed person had made any mention of being even interested in taking the job. McCreath says "Mulcair is just like Harper and Trudeau" in terms of their similarities for interfering in local NL issues.

McCreath says that while it may be too late to send a Crosbie back to Ottawa, it is "darn sure not too late to send a McCreath back to Ottawa."  Jennifer even goes so far to say that she doesn't think Stephen Harper knows "anything about democracy" and that he "sucks". She also insinuates that Justin Trudeau is "confused", and ironically, that the NDP are "not ready" given that they won't even have an Avalon candidate in place until later this month.

Jennifer also took note than none of these leaders mentioned the province of NL during the recent MacLeans Magazine debate, nor talked about NL issues.  McCreath then goes on to announce her Marathon To Democracy tour, in which she will campaign as a candidate for upstart Strength In Democracy party - a party she says has "no party line" and one that will "not muzzle her". She says her role will be to bring the constituents voice directly to Ottawa. She will bring their issues and their solutions, directly to the table.  She also points out that it was a Strength In Democracy candidate, party leader, Jean Francois Fortin, who was the very first person to file nomination papers with Elections Canada, stating that her party is indeed "ready" to bring democracy back to Canadian politics.

Finally, McCreath invites viewers to follow her campaign on her revamped web site

Questions or Interviews:

Jennifer McCreath
twitter @Jenn_McCreath

Saturday, August 8, 2015

FeD Avalon Candidate McCreath vlogs about debate exclusion & Quebec issues

Forces et Democratie (Strength in Democracy) Avalon, NL candidate, Jennifer McCreath, released a youtube video today in which she discusses how unfair it is for certain major political party leaders to be excluded from so-called all-candidate debates. She specifically speaks about the awkwardness of watching 4 leaders debate Quebec sovereignty issues without the Bloc or Forces et Democratie, at the table.

FeD Avalon Candidate McCreath vlogs about Wanting Student Vote

Forces et Democratie (Strength in Democracy) Avalon, NL candidate, Jennifer McCreath, speaks about attending an event on the campus of Memorial University (MUN) and how she was the only candidate from any party to attend. She says students are frustrated that most political parties don't take student issues seriously.

FeD Candidate McCreath vlogs about casual nature of her vlogs

Strength In Democracy candidate for Avalon, NL, Jennifer McCreath, explains she wants most of her video blogs (vlogs) to simulate a "kitchen table chat over coffee", and not necessarily appear like formal press conferences that most other politicians only seem to do. McCreath wants the voters to literally get to know her and see her chat about the issues in her normal home environment. This may even include raw footage of her answering the phone at night in her pajamas to talk to reporters!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Strength In Democracy Candidate McCreath responds to more questions

The following questions came into Jennifer McCreath:

What is your party's position on:

Support for Israel?
Government support for Business?
Alternative methods of health care delivery?
Support for the Oil Sands?

Here is Jennifer's response:

What makes our Party unique is that we have very little in the way of cross-the-board stances or positions. We are a coalition of quasi-independent citizens who will have the freedom to take stances on issues based on the opinions and priorities of each local riding.

The party does have a strong emphasis on regional inclusion, and I strongly agree with the importance of making sure Businesses in rural or regional areas, have fair and equal treatment from Government, as those in big cities.

As for the other issues you list, I can certainly share with you my personal perspective, but would seek to poll the electorate with citizen engagement exercises before formulating a stance that I would take to Ottawa on behalf of the Avalon.

Terrorism - I think Canada needs to find a balance between proactively taking steps to protect ourselves vs unnecessarily invading the privacy or its citizens. I feel that Bill C-51 takes things too far as it allows Government quick and easy access to personal information, without having to clearly justify why they need it.

I would also like to see Canada take a stronger role in working with other G7 countries to take steps to prevent terrorism occurring, based on surveillance and assessment work going on outside of Canada.

Israel - the ongoing war situation in Israel is definitely unfortunate. I don't feel it is Canada's role or right to pick sides or get actively involved in the war, although I'd like to see Canada get more involved with their traditional role of being world leaders in peacekeeping activities.

Alternative Health Care delivery - first of all, I'd like to see Canada take a more active role in overseeing and putting some more teeth in the Canada Health Act. Far too often, I see inconsistencies with how each province decides what health care to provide, what procedures will be funded, and how long a waiting list is deemed appropriate. I'd like to see a consistent standard that is audited by federal officials, to ensure that no province is falling below the acceptable standard, or any of the five principles of the Act.

I definitely think provinces need to open their minds and expand their willingness to engage in partnerships with non-government organizations, (either non-profit or even for-profit), in some cases, where it makes sense. If provincial governments are unable to meet an acceptable standard of care in-house, then I'd like to see steps taken to ensure that partnerships with others would be considered, when and where it makes sense to do so.

Oil Sands - Canada has already made significant investments into these projects and it would appear to me that we need to continue to support this industry. At the same time, I think Canada needs to find a careful balance between oil sands production, and environmental damage. To be honest, this is one industry that I need to learn more about, in terms of specifics.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

McCreath to visit MUN Campus during tonight's debate!

With the Strength in Democracy being snubbed from the MacLeans debate tonight, Avalon, NL Candidate, Jennifer McCreath will hope to do the next best thing. She will visit the Breezeway at MUN Campus tonight, who will be airing the debate via web cast.

McCreath looks forward to chatting with the MUN student population about the issues, and making sure that people are aware of the existence of Strength in Democracy, what they stand for, and to acknowledge that they were snubbed from the debate un-democratically. One of McCreath's core focuses during her campaign is to encourage more students to get engaged and involved in politics.

Big political party leaders disrespectful of democratic principles

Here's an official press release from Strength in Democracy today:

If anyone would like to chat specifically with Jennifer McCreath about these issues, please contact:

Jennifer McCreath

Big political party leaders disrespectful of democratic principles

Rimouski, August 6 2015 – “We are witnessing very undemocratic behaviors on the part of the leaders of the big political parties in Canada. While this is not a new phenomenon, we’ve not witnessed it as markedly as is now the case. The attitudes of the leaders of the main political parties towards debates and the media suggest a lack of respect for democracy. They act as if they owe no accountability to anyone and as if democracy is there to serve their own self interests and that of their parties rather than to serve the citizens that are being asked to vote October 19th” [translation] declared the leader of Strength in Democracy/Forces et Démocracie and candidate in Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, Jean-François Fortin.

“Ensuring citizens are able to watch and listen to party leaders debate their ideas and their vision is an essential element of a sound democratic society, and more particularly of sound, democratic and fair electoral campaigns. It is not only a right, but should be an obligation to ensure citizens have the information they need to make an informed decision on elections day. When leaders of the main political parties avoid journalists or when they choose the debates they will participate in based on their own self interest and that of their party, they necessarily demonstrate a fundamental lack of respect for democracy and for the citizens they purport to want to represent in the House of Commons. The fact that leaders – particularly the prime minister – decide the format, themes, location and dates of the debates (!) is a strong indicator that our electoral system needs to be fundamentally revisited” [translation] Fortin continued.

Despite slogans calling for change, opposition leaders’ actions speak for themselves and prove that slogans are simply rhetoric. Thomas Mulcair tries to control the media while being wishy-washy about his participation in the debates while Justin Trudeau has been vague about his own participation. Rather than truly wanting to replace the leader of the conservative party, it looks like Thomas Mulcair and Justin Trudeau are seeking to emulate him, warts and all! Have they not yet understood that citizens don’t want Harper anymore? And a bearded Harper or a forty something one won’t do either?

“For Force et Démocracie/Strength and Democracy, the democratic process needs to be as open and as accessible as possible to all citizens. All parties represented in the House of Commons at the time of dissolution should be invited to the debates and no leader should be aloud to hold press conferences to “spin” their partisan lines without also answering a minimum of questions from journalists. If you wish to govern a democratic country, you must respect democratic principles, period” [translation] concluded the leader of Forces et Démocratie/Strength in Democracy Jean-François Fortin.

BC Acoustic Folk Rockers, Tiger Moon visit St. John's!

British Columbia folk/rock/country artists Tiger Moon are in St. John's, NL this week for several shows. I was fortunate enough to catch the first portion of their free show at the Royal St. John's Regatta yesterday (which they graciously allowed me to video record and post for fan enjoyment). Check them out at

Here's their first batch of tunes from the show at Quidi Vidi Lake!


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

McCreath responds to questions from Constituent:

The following questions came into

"Hi Jenn, I have to ask you something. What are your plans for helping those who are on income support, disability and pension? Are you going to help those who have to choose between eating and heating our homes in winter? Those who can't get transportation to and from appointments and have to pay out of pocket for cabs and bus fair? Affordable housing, better drug plan for seniors, better dental plans, more help for parents who have disabled children no matter what their IQ or age. The legalization and fair distribution of medical marijuana for those who need it without being arrested. these are just some of the concerns that need to be addressed. I have sent this to Seamus O'Regan and Earle McCudy with no response."

Here is my response question by question. I encourage everyone to send in questions, and let's get a good dialogue going for the duration of this campaign. Ultimately, I want to hear about your problems, and hear your ideas and solutions, so that I can take them to Ottawa on your behalf, if elected.

What are your plans for helping those who are on income support, disability and pension? Are you going to help those who have to choose between eating and heating our homes in winter?

I definitely think we need to take a closer look at how we do income support, disability support and pensions. If the federal pensions are unfair or inadequate, then the Federal Government needs to take a direct role in reviewing the programs and coming up with solutions that meet the needs of the people who collect these benefits.

As far as the provincial programs (as most income support and disability benefit programs are provincial), I think there is a strong role in which the Federal Government, and/or individual Federal MPs, can work together in collaboration with the province, to make sure that we share information, statistics, and studies, so that we can both work together to make sure that all programs, no matter whether they are federal or provincial, can meet the needs of the citizens.

Finally, if there are cases where the province does not appear willing to offer solutions, then perhaps there is a place for the Federal Government to step in and create and offer additional programs, services, and benefits.

Ultimately, I have serious concern over the fact that the various Provincial Governments of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Federal Governments of Canada, have not gotten along very well over the past ten years. I hope that if elected, I can use my experiences in consensus-building, to help get both governments on the same page, working together, to solve problems. No government should ever simply sit back and say 'that's not our problem'.

What about those who can't get transportation to and from appointments and have to pay out of pocket for cabs and bus fair?

It definitely concerns me to hear that this is still an issue. It is a clear sign that the existing programs in place by the Provincial Government, is not working. Much like the previous question, I will commit to taking a look and see what the Federal Government can do to work with the province to ensure their programs are more comprehensive. Likewise, if there's a way the Federal Government can create programs that would compliment or fill in the gaps left by the province, then this is what I would look to do.

Also, one of the key visions for my party, Strength In Democracy, is to empower the regions, and in this case, I would hope that steps could be taken to build better services in the regions all over Avalon, so that there would be less of a need for citizens to travel to the big city to get what they need out of government health entities.

What about Affordable housing?

Affordable housing was one of the key pillars for which I campaigned on back in 2013 as a candidate in the municipal election. Here was my platform at that time:

- Create incentives for developers to build lost-cost housing units, such as apartment buildings, condos, and townhouses.
- Come up with a fair system that will allow landlords to make sufficient profit, yet not gauging the tenants with excessively high rental increase prices that are above the rates of inflation
- Carefully manage the mill rate so that homeowners are not excessively dealing with tax increases due to the substantial increase in property values

Now, fast forward two years later, and here I am as a Federal candidate, and I still believe in these goals, both for St. john's, and for the entire Avalon peninsula. It would be my intention to work with municipal governments to ensure that they look at these solutions.

I also feel that affordable housing is something that all levels of government need to look at. I think specifically, the Federal Government could look at creating some of their own programs that would create incentives for developers to build low cost housing units in the various regions of the riding of Avalon.

Better drug plan for seniors?

Personally, I think we need better drug plans for everyone who can't afford them. The Canada Health Act has five principles that include public administration, comprehensiveness, universality, portability, and accessibility. If the provinces are not delivering health products and services that meet the needs of all citizens, then I think the federal government needs to step in with some sanctions and order power. Nobody should have to go without prescription drugs that are recommended by their doctors.

Ultimately, I think the federal government needs to sit down with the provincial department of health and review their policies and programs, and make recommendations on how it can be improved. I also think the Federal governments need to be given more power to intervene and force the provinces to adhere to these standards, because at this point, they take a very hands-off approach and trust the provinces to run themselves without having to be accountable to anyone.

Better dental plans?

Much like my comments about access to prescription drugs, I have never understood why dental issues were not considered under health care. In my opinion, healthy teeth are a part of a healthy life, and I think dental health care programs should be covered under the provincial health care program, and should fall under the principles of the Canada Health Act. this would be another issue I would add to the agenda for the discussions I would like to see the feds have with the provinces.

The legalization and fair distribution of medical marijuana for those who need it without being arrested?

If a doctor recommends marijuana for medical purposes, then steps need to be taken to ensure the patient has easy access to the product. I would treat this like any other prescription and suggest that the provinces adhere to the same five principles of the Canada Health Act. I was actually under the impression that marijuana was already accepted as legal, when prescribed by a doctor. If there is a specific incident where a patient is having problems, then i'd love to hear more details and i will go to bat for them to rectify the situation.

More help for parents who have disabled children no matter what their IQ or age?

I think this is definitely a case where the Federal government can do more, and should do more. I'd like to review the list of existing services currently provided by the province, and try to come up with some ways in which the federal government can add value, either by giving more funding to new initiatives, or contributing more resources currently in place to collaborate with the province for a better overall list of options. I'd also like to create incentives for non-profit organizations that are currently out there offering services of these nature and potentially come up with new additional federal programs that would allow them do deliver a higher level and higher quality of service.

Jennifer McCreath
Strength In Democracy Candidate - Avalon, NL

Monday, July 27, 2015

Grand Falls - Windsor, NL to celebrate Pride Week - July 28

Members of the Grand Falls - Windsor (GFW) lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered communities, along with their allies, will commemorate Pride Week on Tuesday July 28, 2015 with two special events.

First of all, Status of Women's Central will be collaborating with the East Coast Trans Alliance (ECTA) to have a ceremonial 'flag waving' event at 12.15 pm at their office at 7B Bayley Street. The event will feature flag waving and photo ops with both rainbow and transgender flags. The event will include speeches from Women's Centre reps, ECTA's NL rep, Jennifer McCreath, who will travel from St. John's to emcee the events, and local GFW student and LGBT activist Cassondra Parsons (who made provincial headlines a few years ago by creating social media protest movement "Dunderdale Must Go"). A social event will occur after the ceremony with coffee and light snacks.

Secondly, at 2 pm, Town Hall, who has flown the rainbow flag for the past 9 days, with minimal fanfare, will commemorate Pride Week by lowering the flag. However, the key message will be that members of the town and province should keep LGBT issues in mind around the year, and not just during pride week. Deputy Mayor, Barry Manual, will join Jennifer McCreath and others, to commemorate this occasion.  Afterwards, there will be a meeting open to the public in Town Hall's main boardroom, in which members of the local LGBT community, and their allies, will discuss the creation and launch of a permanent round-the-calendar entity that will exist to provide educational information and social support to LGBT community members. This new group has also set up a new Facebook page in hopes of reaching more members of the community. The page is listed at this address: .

Jennifer, a candidate in the next Federal election in the riding of Avalon, for the new political party Strength In Democracy, and the first openly-trans person to ever run in a Federal election, says she is extremely excited to see the continued support and growth for LGBT issues among GFW residents and allies, "The good folks at the Women's Centre and at Town Hall are genuinely more than happy to be a part of Pride. GFW is a wonderful town that is open and accepting of diversity of all types. It will be an honour to share in their celebrations," said McCreath.

Questions or Interviews
Jennifer McCreath

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

ECTA's 2nd Annual NL Trans Health Protest! July 24, 2015


ECTA's 2nd Annual NL Trans Health Protest! July 24, 2015

Friday July 24, 2015, 8-9 am
Confederation Bldg, East Parking Lot Entrance
St. John's, NL

8:00 am - 8:40 am

Members of the trans community and allies are encouraged to bring signs, trans flags, and plungers, to Confederation building, East end parking lot entrance, for this grass roots politically-partisan-neutral, event, designed to raise awareness and to push for change to bring Newfoundland and Labrador up to national and global norms in terms of access to health care products and health care funding.

The Cause:

Many medical interventions required by trans people are not funded by NL's health provider, unless the patient travels to a particular clinic in Toronto, called CAMH, who are known for long waiting lists and transphobia. No other province who funds trans health, requires a visit to Toronto except Ontario and NL. This unnecessary red tape must be removed. Allow trans patients to chose local doctors, just like every other province does!

There are many procedures not covered, whatsoever, in NL. Many of these procedures are approved in other provinces. The range of medically-necessary trans health products needs to be comprehensive, like they are in British Columbia. (comprehensive list for NL here ).

NL's health provider will not fund trans health procedures if performed at private clinics in Canada; however, there are many services not available through public institutes in Canada. Several other provinces have negotiated public-private-partnerships. No reason for NL to send trans people half way around the world to a foreign country!

The Human Rights Act of NL does not have the teeth it needs to help trans people. As per a case rejected in 2012, the Commission states they cannot hear cases of systemic discrimination against oppressed groups of people (such as trans people), but only cases of individual discrimination. This leaves trans people out in the cold. The Act needs to be toughened so the Commission has the tools they need to accurately hear cases of government discrimination against trans people. (details about 2012 case here ).

8:40 am - 9:00 am

At 8.40 am, members of the trans community and allies, are encouraged to take their flags and signs with them for a gentle walk down Prince Philip Drive to the trail of Kent's Pond, which is just east of Confederation Building. Note: This is NOT a parade.

Disclaimer: these are non-sanctioned 'suggested' events that are not formally booked or endorsed by any individual or legally-recognized corporate body. People attend these suggested events under the assumption and impression that they are attending under their own free will as individual citizens, who are exercising their civic rights to physically attend government properties such as the side walks in front of Confederation Building and the Trail at Kent's Pond. Note: East Coast Trans Alliance is not a legal entity.

Facebook Event:

Questions or Interviews:
Jennifer McCreath

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Avalon candidate McCreath to attend several St. John's Pride events!

Jennifer McCreath literally takes pride in St. John's Pride week! Jennifer was among a small consortium of individuals who formally created St. John's Pride Incorporated, in Sept 2010 and she was the first Head of Corporate Management and remained so until her resignation in March 2012.

Jennifer is well-aware of the lack of LGBT services and events that take place outside of St. John's, in the Avalon peninsula, and Jennifer hopes to take steps in the future to bring more events and services to different parts of the riding, in future years. Meanwhile, Jennifer hopes to have an opportunity to meet with many Avalon constituents who travel to St. John's this week for Pride events.  Please do not hesitate to come up to Jennifer and say hello! Just a reminder, that the riding of Avalon includes most of the town of Conception Bay South, and some of the town of Paradise.

Here is a list of St. John's Pride Inc., and MUN Pride on Campus events that Jennifer plans to attend:

Monday, July 20, 2015:

10:00 am: St. John's Pride Inc. - Flag Raising - Confederation Building
12:00 pm: St. John's Pride Inc. - Flag Raising - City Hall
02:00 pm: MUN Pride on Campus - Flag Raising - MUN Arts Building
03:30 pm: MUN Pride on Campus - BBQ - MUN Breezeway

Tuesday, July 21, 2015:

12:00 pm: MUN Pride on Campus - Brunch - Bitters Pub
08:00 pm: St. John's Pride Inc. - Bonfire - Middle Cove Beach

Wednesday, July 22, 2015:

03:00 pm: St. John's Pride Inc. - lecture with Dr. Sarah - Bitters Pub

Thursday, July 23, 2015:

06:00 pm: MUN Pride on Campus - Panel - Inco Bldg IIC-2001

Friday, July 24, 2015:

08:00 am: Trans Health Policy Protest - Confed Bldg, East parking lot

Saturday, July 25, 2015:

01:30 pm: MUN Pride on Campus - Trans March - Harbourside Park
03:00 pm: St. John's Pride Inc. - Trans Picnic - Harbourside Park

Sunday July 26, 2015:

02:00 pm: St. John's Pride Inc. - Pride Parade
02:30 pm: St. John's Pride Inc. - Pride at the Lake - Quidi Vidi

Jennifer McCreath launches first of her campaign Vlog series!

I am going to do my best to post as many blogs (written) and vlogs (videos) as possible, to ensure you, the voters of Avalon, can get a chance to get to know me, and get your questions answered.

Here is the first vlog 


Saturday, July 18, 2015

Jennifer McCreath Political Bio & Campaign Highlights

Jennifer McCreath was born in Nova Scotia in 1973. She split her childhood spending time in both Halifax, and the rural town of Black Point. At the age of nine, she moved to Toronto, Ontario, where she lived until 2007, when she moved to Newfoundland (NL). She earned a Business Administration Diploma from Humber College and a Bachelor of "Administration - Management Concentration" from Athabasca University.

In between studies, Jennifer took on a variety of employment opportunities in both public and private sector. After graduating from high school she spent two years in retail hardware and two years in the banking business. After graduating from College, Jennifer spent four years in the Ontario Public Service, undertaking work in four different departments. After returning to school to obtain her Bachelor Degree, she moved to St. John's in 2007 to accept a senior-level policy analyst position in the NL public service.

She has since taken on a diverse portfolio of employment assignments, ranging from conducting Privacy Impact Assessments for information technology projects, to archiving paper records for the Crown Attorneys' office, to answering 911 inquiries and managing a fleet of police dispatch cruisers for the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary police force.

Her work experiences highlights include:

- Jennifer has done policy writing, policy analysis, and policy compliance work for the Ontario & Newfoundland Government's Information Technology departments and Justice departments. She also, oversaw the management and protection of Government information and information assets, both physical and electronic for both departments.

- Jennifer developed and managed a 'portal' of information about Government services for Ontario senior citizens and senior citizen organizations. The portal was unique in a sense that it allowed citizen access to 3 levels of Government services through one main entry point.

- Jennifer conducted an internal business-mapping project for the Ontario Ministry of Consumer & Business Services and undertook change-management exercises. The result of this work was the creation of integrated service delivery mechanisms that cut Government costs, made service delivery more efficient and more e-friendly.

- Jennifer was part of an Ontario Government team that chaired a working group that included the Federal Government and all ten Provincial governments. This working group collaborated on a policy that would ensure congruence in how they shared information with each other, and how they conducted identity authenticating of individuals and businesses who sought government services while out of province on vacation or business.

Jennifer also has a variety of volunteer and non-profit leadership work experiences, having been the founder and original Head of Corporate Management for St. John's Pride Inc., as well as the founder of grassroots movements, the NL Animal Appreciation Society, the East Coast Trans Alliance, and the Trigeminal Neuralgia Patient Association of NL.

Jennifer is also no stranger to civil activism, having delivered passionate speeches at public meetings, including the 2009 Police Violence G20-protest, the 2009 provincial Human Rights Act review consultation meeting, and the 2011 Provincial Privacy Bill-29 protest.

Jennifer is also an educator and motivational speaker, giving countless presentations to audiences ranging from high school and university classrooms, to boardrooms full of politicians and senior-level bureaucrats. She is also a part-time journalist and blogger, and a frequent subject-matter-expert speaker on local political radio and television talk show programs.

Jennifer is also a transgendered person who 'transitioned' from male to female in 2007. She has been a champion, educator, and activist for human rights. She has played a key role in attaining formal human rights recognition and equal protection in the provinces of NL, NS, and PEI. She has also helped improve access to health care for transgendered persons in these provinces.

Jennifer is also an avid athlete, having completed 30 marathon runs, including the famous Boston Marathon twice. She also holds two gold medals and one silver medal from her experiences as a distance runner and distance swimmer at the 2009 World Outgames.

Jennifer's Priorities for Avalon:

Citizen Participatory Democracy

- Encourage citizen engagement through regularly-scheduled town hall meetings in towns all over the riding; hold periodical interactive online meetings to allow citizens to speak directly with their elected representative

Government Service Integration

- Develop better working relationships between the Federal and other levels of Government and create a "Service Centre of Excellence" that will allow citizens to conduct business affairs with multiple levels of Government from a single access point, either on-line or in person

Regional Development

- Enhance regional development by encouraging Federal Government to house departmental offices in towns in the riding and by taking steps to encourage private sector growth and job-creation in the regions

- Work to ensure that local citizens who go to school in St, John's or the mainland can return to the region and expect high quality employment opportunities that will allow them to grow and maximize their potential

Environmental Issues

- Repair the damage Canada has done to their global reputation in terms of their role in environmental issues and become world leaders

Jennifer McCreath
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador