I also want to take this opportunity to introduce myself. Born and raised in Thunder Bay, I come from a family of hard-working men & women who helped build Port Arthur & Fort William. My grandfather, George Puukila worked as a blacksmith at Woodside Foundry, and my great grandfather Art Bailey worked as a lathe operator at the Great Lakes paper mill. My grandmother Anita Puukila worked for a time as a chambermaid at the Crest Hotel before returning to the family home as a stay-at-home mom.
I began my working life at a number of odd jobs before becoming a student leader at Lakehead University. In 2011 I served as the Deputy Returning Officer during hotly-contested elections at the Student Union. In 2012 I became the first Chair of the newly-reconstituted Graduate Students’ Association. In this role I advocated for issues important to graduate students on the Thunder Bay and Orillia campuses. I was also one of the founding directors of the Ontario Graduate Students’ Alliance (OGSA), a province-wide group of student leaders from distinguished universities such as the University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University and UOIT/Durham College. After graduation in 2013 I moved to Kitchener to work as a policy researcher at OGSA (based at the University of Waterloo) in drafting policies on tax credits and university governance accountability.
In my spare time I enjoy being active in and contributing to the community, having volunteered my time with non-profit organizations, such as the Thunder Bay Public Library and the Alumni Association of Lakehead University, and writing for local publications, such as The Walleye and The Argus.
I have been involved in politics since 2011, volunteering on campaigns at the provincial, federal and municipal levels. I look forward to working with you, our members and supporters, towards our common goal of electing a Conservative as our Member of Parliament for this great riding.
As great as it is to have a good candidate and solid policy, fundraising is our absolute number one priority. Fundraising gives us the funds to help get our candidate elected. The next election is scheduled to happen this October, and we need your help in building up a sizeable war chest before the writ drops. I encourage you donate $50-100 per month to our Association. Every little bit helps, and you are eligible for a tax receipt.
I look forward to meeting with our many volunteers and supporters across the riding over the next year.
All the best,