04/26/10 – By BRENT TENNANT
Affordability, employment and community engagement in local development are on the mind of Hema Vyas, one of six candidates for city council in Davenport. At her campaign’s fundraising launch at the Gladstone Hotel, Vyas spoke about her experience, and the issues facing both Davenport, and Toronto as a whole.
“How do we increase employment throughout the city? Increase sustainable employment throughout the ward? I think we need a mix of creative ideas and policy,” Vyas said.
Vyas has a long track record in the public and not-for-profit sectors. Currently working at the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, Vyas is also the past president of the June Callwood Centre for Women and Families, a non-profit organization that helps young women and their children. Vyas also worked as a project manager at ACTEW (A Commitment to Training and Employment for Women), an umbrella organization that provides training and services for women.
On top of this, she is a community representative with Culturelink, which helps new Canadians settle into their new lives. She has also served as an intern at Unicef, a communications consultant for the Council of Agencies Serving South Asians, and has worked abroad as a researcher in India and a teacher in Japan.
“I think the marriage of that strong background in government and a long track record in community building gives me the skills [to be a good councilor]” she said.
Vyas is running as an independent, she is not a member of any political party. She explains that for her, community interest comes first, not party interest.
“We’ve got probably three elections coming up in the next year, and I think a city councilor needs to work with all levels of the government and that it’s really important to maintain a sense of interest in the community,” Vyas said.
With current councilor Adam Giambrone not seeking re-election, Hema Vyas could be Davenport’s new councilor come election day on October 25th.