On August 22, 2020, we held our first Annual General Meeting (AGM), which had been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We'll share some notes over the next few weeks but, if you want to have a look at the presentation and our Annual Report, you can find them here in the meantime: https://www.ottawatransitriders.ca/agm_2020_resources
During that meeting, we were also pleased to be able to welcome our new Board of Directors! We received eight applications for the Board and so we did not hold an election and the Board was acclaimed. Here are the smart, engaged, passionate people who will be spending the next year working with us and all of you (and the rest of Ottawa's transit riders!) to improve our bus, train, and ParaTranspo service:
- Chris Hansen: Chris is one of our new Board members and we're thrilled to have him on board! Chris is looking forward to helping to give transit users a voice and will be focusing his efforts on improving ParaTranspo and fixing the overall bus network; like many of our members, he thinks the bus network should be better and more reliable, instead of being viewed as solely for commuting.
- Laura Shantz: Laura is another of our new Board members and we're also thrilled to have her along! Laura is interested in working to make transit more affordable and so provide more equitable access to a wider range of transit users. She would also like to see transit improved overall, rather than the current focus on the 9-5 commuters. Laura is also involved in other local advocacy groups and has a good handle on municipal politics, which will be very useful!
- Sally Thomas: Sally is our third new Board member and we're pleased to finally have her formally on the Board, since we've been fortunate enough to work with her on the ParaParity campaign over the last year. Sally is planning to continue her fight for ParaParity, as well as contributing to other goals including affordability. Sally is also vocal on #ODSPoverty and an outspoken advocate for marginalized people.
- Sam Boswell: Sam is one of the original Board members and she is returning for a second term (I'm writing this blog so it feels strange to talk about myself in the third person...but I'm overjoyed to be returning for a second term!). She's a big advocate for equity in transit (ParaParity) but is also looking forward to continuing to fight for more transparency from the City on transit and improvements to the bus and train systems.
- Kari Glynes Elliott: Kari was a Board member during the first term and we are thrilled she's returning, too! Kari believes that good public transit is essential to making a city livable and is looking forward to spending another term fighting for it. She also believes that encouraging people to use transit instead of using their private vehicles is probably the best thing we can do to fight climate change.
- Stuart MacKay: Stuart is also a returning Board member and we're very pleased he's coming back, as well! Stuart has been a dedicated advocate for a new shift in public transit funding, one that involves both the federal and provincial governments taking a role. Working with the #KeepTransitMoving campaign, he helped Ottawa Transit Riders to take a leadership role in developing a national network of public transit advocacy groups...and he looks forward to continuing this work with the new Board.
- Henry Paikin: Henry is another returning Board member and we're thrilled, again, that he's staying with the Board. Henry's main interest lies in affordability, as well as continued investment in the improvement of existing service and expansion beyond. He is also focused on fighting climate change and aware that public transit is a huge part of the solution. He's also keen to ensure that continued support for public transit is part of the COVID-19 economic recovery.
- John Redins: John is our last returning Board member and, as repetitive as it sounds, we are so very pleased he's coming back, too! John has been a staunch advocate for the ParaParity campaign and improvements to ParaTranspo and was instrumental in getting the City to commit to online booking. He's looking forward to continuing this work in the new term.
We're very pleased to have so many returning Board members and excited to work with Chris, Laura, and Sally!
Thank you for all of your support and help in our busy first year! We certainly did not expect to deal with a train system that had flat wheels and periodically caught fire, buses re-routed all over the place thanks to construction, AND a world-wide pandemic in our first term but, thanks to all of your support, we not only survived...we accomplished a lot!
This year promises to be as exciting if not more so...so thanks for coming along for the ride! Please stay tuned for campaign committee meetings and other news as soon as we get the new Board members briefed up.