Tia De Agazio is running for Welland Ward 2 Councillor
A proud Franco-Ontarian born and raised in Timmins, Michelle (she/her/elle) has dedicated her career to bettering the socio-economic well-being of people throughout Northern Ontario. She has over a decade of experience working in the postsecondary education sector and is currently the Employment & Immigration Services Manager for a local community college. Michelle obtained a Master of Research degree in Educational and Social Research from the University of London and an Honours Bachelor’s degree from the University of Ottawa. Elected to the municipal council in the City of Timmins in 2018, Michelle serves on several community boards and committees and is honoured to chair the Northern Ontario Service Deliverers Association. She is most proud of being the mother of a two-year-old daughter, Rosalie.
Why are you running for this position?
I’m running because Timmins can benefit from leadership with a future-focused vision for the city. I believe my skills and experience can contribute to making Timmins a better place to live for all. There are many issues that must still be addressed. I’m proud of the work I’ve accomplished as a municipal councillor this past term, but I know I can make a bigger impact in the mayor’s role. I want to continue to build on the progress we’ve been making as a community.
What do you think are the greatest challenges your municipality faces?
One of the challenges I look forward to tackling is population growth. We’re facing significant workforce shortages across all sectors, which is not only having a negative impact on our economy but also on the quality of life for residents. Moreover, much like the rest of Ontario, we’re facing a housing crisis here in Timmins. Housing affordability, a lack of affordable housing and homelessness are all unique facets of the wider issue of housing. Finally, too many residents are struggling with access to appropriate health care. We have a growing waitlist and longer wait times, without any sign of things improving soon. Issues related to mental health and addictions continue to be prevalent in the city, and our community’s capacity to address them is limited. We also cannot ignore the environmental impacts on our health, such as air pollution, water quality, noise, etc. A clean environment is essential for human health and well-being.
Why do you think it’s important for women to be represented in civic leadership, including on committees, boards and municipal councils?
An obvious reason to strive for gender parity around decision-making tables is because women make up half of the population. That said, it’s also important for women to be represented in civic leadership because women have different lived experiences than their male counterparts. They bring a different perspective to the conversation, as does any person of diversity.
Please identify the most critical policy, project, or initiative in your platform that addresses systemic barriers faced by women in your municipality, and describe why:
I believe that making provisions for child care so women can fully engage in professional and political spheres is especially important in a place like Timmins, where shiftwork is widely common. I would like to develop and implement strategies for increasing access to quality, culturally-appropriate child care in the city, both internally at the municipality and for the broader community.
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