New Rideau-Vanier councillor hitting the ground running

Of the new city councillors elected in Ottawa on Monday, no one had to beat out more competition than Stéphanie Plante.

Plante, the new councillor in Rideau-Vanier, received 37 per cent of the vote to defeat nine other candidates. She beat the second-place finisher Laura Shantz by just over 300 votes, making it one of the election’s closest races.

“I burst into tears at some point and I was just really happy that all my hard work had paid off and that my platform had really resonated with people,” Plante said. “I’ve lived here almost 20 years and now I get to represent this ward, and I get to swear an oath to this ward. I hope I can just represent it at the level it deserves to be.”

Plante succeeds Mathieu Fleury, who has represented the ward since 2010.

Hitting the ground running, the councillor-elect is already getting invites to community events. Tuesday evening she attending a fundraiser for the Hopewell Eating Support Centre. The centre supporting people in recovery or struggling with eating disorders, also offering support to families and friends, their goal to raise $60,000.

Plante has a number of priorities. The first is improving health-care options in the ward, attracting new doctors to the community. Plante says she wants the city to consult with physicians to see how they can make Ottawa an attractive place for family physicians to work and stay.

“People are really engaged in this ward sometimes in English sometimes in French but they are definitely making their voices heard,” she said.

Rideau Vanier is a diverse ward, with many conflicting needs. It’s home to a university with almost 49,000 students, embassies, the ByWard Market, communities like Lowertown , Sandy Hill and Vanier. It is also home to some of Ottawa’s most vulnerable residents.

Plante says the diversity of her new ward offers a welcome challenge.

“It’s definitely a ward with some interesting components to it, I don’t think any of that is a bad thing. I like living in a ward where different things are happening at the same time,” she said.

“I did not apply for this job thinking that it would be something I could just put my feet up.”

View original article here Source