Councillor McKelvie celebrates with her family on election night.
By Kathy McGrath
Voters in Ward 25 overwhelmingly endorsed Jennifer McKelvie for a second term as councillor. Winning 72 percent of the ballots, McKelvie campaigned to finish the projects she started in her first four years in office.
While incumbents generally have the advantage, McKelvie ran an ambitious campaign to beat out Ashan Fernando, an anti-development candidate, as well as Jacinta Kanakaratnam, who lives outside the ward.
After learning she won, McKelvie hugged a roomful of supporters at the Highland Creek Legion while the song Jenny from the Block, famously sung by the OTHER Jennifer, thumped in the background.
Speaking to Centennial News, McKelvie explained how this win was different from her last. “Four years ago it was really close and I think, especially as a woman, you always feel a little bit of an imposter, you don’t feel deserving,” she said. “I think the win tonight is a vote of confidence that people appreciate the work we’re doing, they believe in our positive message for the future that we all want.”
McKelvie was thrown into the deep end in her previous council term, learning the ropes at city hall while having to navigate the pandemic. She understands the challenges facing her and her colleagues.
“Next year is going to be an immense challenge, we’ll continue to have budgetary issues, mainly because of decreased transit ridership. Working through the budget process we’re really going to have to look at those investments in the community that we want to protect and make sure that happens,” she said. “Things like expanding Port Union Road, completion of the northeast community centre and continued investment in community crisis response teams.”
“I’ve totally enjoyed working for the community in the last four years and I’ve really learned a lot about how to push and mandate and things can only go up from here,” she said.