Sophie has a breadth and depth of experience that has helped her bring about real change for the people of Kingston.
POLITICAL EXPERIENCE – PRIOR TO 2014
- In 2007, Sophie started her political career working as a constituency assistant for Peter Milliken, former MP of Kingston and the Islands and former Speaker of the House. She was promoted to Office Manager, staying on to supervise the transition of the office to Milliken’s successor, Ted Hsu. She then worked with Mr. Hsu for three years as his Chief of Staff. This work gave Sophie unique exposure to the concerns of constituents, and provided an opportunity to build a strong network within the community.
- Sophie has been an active member of the federal and provincial riding associations since 2007 (roughly 156 meetings if you are counting). She has consistently held director of portfolio positions in the riding and has also taken on outreach, planned fundraisers, filled theatres, stuffed envelopes, and supported communications. Following the pandemic lockdown, Sophie bumped up her Liberal outreach gatherings to provide a positive focus, hosting discussions such as: Basic Income with Hugh Segal, Long Term Care with former Minister of Long Term Care and MPP Dipika Damerla, Food Sustainability with new leader Steven Del Duca and former Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs Jeff Leal, Decriminalization with MP Nathaniel Erskine Smith and Craig Jones.
As MPP – 2014-18
Sophie was an active and hardworking representative, who in four short years brought about significant government investment in our community:
- $500M for renovation of KGH
- $60M for 1/3 of the Third Crossing
- $62M for two new electric ferries
- $67M for one new French high school, a new Catholic elementary school and 120 new childcare spaces
- $22M for infrastructure and capital support to Feihe
During her time in office, Sophie took every opportunity to be involved, contribute, and take leadership on issues.
Established constituency advocacy groups:
- Mental Health
- Youth Advisory Council
- Senior’s Advisory Council
- Accessibility group
- Gender Budgeting group, which discussed the impacts of the provincial budget on women, and assisted in developing skills to analyze budgets of all levels of government through a gender lens
- Motion to request that the Government of Canada launch a National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls – garnered unanimous support of the House
- Private Member’s Bill, in collaboration with PC Member of Provincial Parliament, requiring all soccer nets to be safely anchored in parks after a child died in a neighbouring riding
- A bill to open the Education Act to provide additional services to teachers for students who suffer from FASD (unanimously passed)
- A successful bill declaring Sept. 9 of every year Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Awareness (FASD) Day
- A Private Member’s Bill to ban electronic ticket buying software – adopted and made into government legislation
- A Private Member’s Bill to make identity documents free for those that could not afford them so that they could access public services.
- Parliamentary Assistant to the Ministry of Tourism Culture and Sport
- Parliamentary Assistant to the Ministry of Children and Youth and Parliamentary Assistant to the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation (concurrent)
- Chair of the Cabinet Committee on Jobs and Economic Policy while serving on:
- Estimates Committee
- General Government Committee and the
- Legislative Assembly Committee
Voluntary member of:
- Women’s Caucus (government)
- Lung Health Caucus (all party/non-partisan)
- Rural Caucus (government)
- French Caucus (government) and
- French Speaking Parliamentarians (non-partisan and international)
Founded: Heart and Stroke Caucus (all party/non-partisan)
Strategic Community Development – orchestrated a series of educational forums and consultations
- Townhall on mental health and reducing stigma
- ‘Exercise is Medicine’ panel discussion
- Townhall on the impact of federal corrections policy on provincial programs in our riding
- Stakeholder forum for those who work in sexual assault and violence prevention
- Consultation on development of 100,000 childcare spaces
- Consultation on Basic Income Pilot
- Consultation on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
- Consultation on Climate Change
- Consultation on trail legislation
- Roundtable event on women in leadership
- Developed ‘YGK Connex’ which matches newcomers to Canada with organizations and residents for social integration
- Indigenous Health for youth summit – for remote and fly-in communities
Hosted advocacy days at Queen’s Park:
- Youth Homelessness Advocacy Days, working with the provincial United Way
- Heart and Stroke Foundation, in collaboration with the Heart and Stroke Caucus
- Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Advocacy Days
- Provincial Pension Advocacy Day, in collaboration with the local Invista Group
As PA to the Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, Sophie was highly engaged with indigenous communities in Ontario, working on key areas such as children’s services, health, court diversion and bringing indigenous concerns to other tables, such as the Heart and Stroke Caucus and her work in support of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder. She continues this work today as a community activitst.
- Tabled a motion asking the federal government to do a national inquiry on the missing and murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, which was unanimously passed.
- Working to develop an Indigenous Online Hub
- Hosted an Advocacy Day on Indigenous Cardiovascular Health
- Conducted consultations to explore and solve gaps in health care for youth in remote and fly-in communities.
- Initiated and carried out a survey on Indigenous Libraries on First Nations reserves to extend outreach, assess service levels across the province, understand resource gaps. Succeeded in obtaining increased funding.
- Worked with remote Indigenous communities on nutrition services for families with children affected by FASD
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT AND ADVOCACY 2018-2020
- Delivers presentations to school groups on civic involvement and political advocacy
- Organized volunteers and raised funds to purchase, plan, cook and serve meals to the homeless and food insecure over the Christmas holidays when other food providers are closed.
- Worked with former Minister of Education and Premier Kathleen Wynne to re-table the Private Member’s Bill on bringing more resources to children with FASD through the educational system
- Testified at federal committee on ticket speculation
- Brought together emergency food providers, shelters, school boards, the food bank, public health, the United Way, and the City to participate in weekly zoom meetings to collaborate and problem solve together in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Chair of the Ovarian Cancer Canada’s Walk of Hope for Kingston
- Interim Chair and now the Vice-Chair of the Tett Centre of Creativity and Learning