I am a proud, first generation Canadian, born and raised in Ottawa, ON. My parents immigrated to Canada from England with very little resources. I grew up lower middle class. I attended A.Y. Jackson Secondary School, and subsequently Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology. I studied electronic engineering, completing two years of a three year program before deciding it wasn't something I could see myself doing as a career. I liked people too much.
My first professional role was as an Insurance Advisor for The Co-operators. I was approximately 21 years old. I've spent the last 15 years working in the insurance and financial services industry. Most of the time spent as a commercial risk manager, specializing in special event and cyber liability. My role is to network with business owners/CEO's/CFO's, gain their confidence as a trusted business advisor, and advise them on the best options to ensure their business operations continue in the event of a loss. The skills required to effectively perform my role are; trust building, negotiations, diplomacy, communication, and bringing people around the table to a consensus. These skills are very transferable to politics.
When I was 18 I began to experience troubling health symptoms, which slowly worsened until it reached a breaking point. I was forced into disability, with extremely poor heath, and spent years searching for a diagnosis. 7 years ago I was diagnosed with Lyme disease and began a years long road to recovery.
Just before I first went on disability I married my long-time girlfriend, Rachel. It seemed almost immediately after the wedding, we both got sick. While I was searching for a diagnosis, she was also experiencing similar symptoms and searching for a diagnosis of her own. Rachel was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at the same time I received my diagnosis. Complications from her past MS treatments, mixed with the Moderna vaccine 3rd booster dose, initiated a series of events that led to her death on June 16, 2022.
I have always been an empathetic person, but experiencing extreme illness and loss of quality of life made me even more so. When I was at my worst, I promised myself that if I ever recovered, I would dedicate the rest of my life working to improve the lives of those around me. I have increased my community building efforts proportionally to the recovery of my health. Now that I am feeling better than I thought possible, I am ready to make community service my official employment.
The loss of my wife and best friend has been difficult, however; I have a large amount of experience with difficult situations. In the past, I have used hard times as motivation to work towards a better future, and I intend to continue to do the same now.