Column: Never Give Up

Two days prior to taking office in December, I had the opportunity to speak to three Careers Classes at South Carleton High School in Richmond. I have always been proud of the fact that I am a South Carleton graduate, as are my siblings and my parents. The school means a lot to me. My Grandmother, Hilda Moore, worked at South Carleton for nearly 30 years. I had the honour of helping to manage the South Carleton hockey team in the late 1990’s and again in 2008, accompanying the team to the Provincial Championships in 1997 and 1998. During the 2006 Election, it was the site of my first organized debate against two former Rideau Mayors, Jim Stewart and Glenn Brooks. Walking through the halls, I am reminded by pictures of my brother, my mother, and my uncle of our family history that dates back to 1964. Without question, I have fond memories.

One not so fond memory took place in the office of my Guidance Counsellor, who told me that I should re-evaluate my goals at the time, suggesting I couldn’t reach them. I didn’t re-evaluate anything; I just took a different path to being successful. This was not the first time I would hear negativity toward a personal goal. When I was given an opportunity to speak with students who were sitting in the same classrooms that I sat in over 10 years ago, it was my chance to let them know that they truly can achieve whatever they set out to do.

The reality is that in life, there will always be people that tell you that you cannot reach your goal, that you cannot get that job, or that you cannot go to that school. I have been told this on many occasions. In high school, I was told I couldn’t go to University in the program I sought. I graduated from Carleton University, studying History, Political Science, and Law. In 2006, and again in 2010, I was told time and time again that, at my age and with my inexperience, I couldn’t get elected. I never listened to it, although when you hear something so many times, it does make ignoring it much more difficult.

I knew what I wanted, I believed in myself and I did the work I had to do to achieve it. It was this that I shared with the Careers classes at South Carleton that day. As I said before, I am not far removed from where they sit today and the reality is that they will meet people that will discourage them from their goals. There is no reason to be discouraged because you are the only person that can tell you whether or not you can achieve the goals you set out for yourself. By no means did I get elected or earn my education alone. The people closest to me, my family, helped me along every step of the way.

Goals take time to come to fruition; sometimes you have to wait a few months, or even a few years. Don’t give up on them every time someone tells you that you can’t do it, because they are wrong. This doesn’t just apply to those students I spoke to at South Carleton, but everyone who takes the time to read this. Four years ago, I could have given up after being unsuccessful in my election attempt, but instead, I looked at it in a positive light and used it to help me be successful in 2010.

It was definitely a privilege to speak with those students and I look forward to having that opportunity again in the future.

Waste Review

Last week, I informed you of the ongoing Service Level Review aimed at gaining feedback as to how we move forward in terms of waste collection in the City of Ottawa. To clear up some concerns, please note that there is little support for the idea of once a month recycling pick-up. It is more likely that we move toward putting your recyclables in one bin and continuing the bi-weekly pick-up of blue and black box materials. Another concern that has been brought forward by those who are not currently serviced by the Green Bin is the impact that a potential bi-weekly pick-up of residual garbage would have. Contingent on bi-weekly garbage pick-up is the notion that all residents would receive weekly Green Bin pick-up.

Please be sure to visit and fill out the questionnaire. Comments can also be sent to If you require a hard copy of the questionnaire, contact my office and I will be sure to have one delivered to you.

Manotick Shiverfest

Shiverfest takes place on Friday, January 28 and Saturday, January 29 with events scheduled throughout the village of Manotick. Visit for more information and for the schedule of events.

Fabulous Fish Fry

Friday, January 21 from 4-7pm at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Richmond. Call 613-838-3723 for details and tickets.

Upcoming Events

Stay tuned for information about upcoming winter events in North Gower and Munster! And don't forget to let us know if your group has an event coming up that you'd like to list on the Rideau-Goulbourn Ward site. Please send an email with the details to


I’m happy to announce that the Rideau-Goulbourn Facebook page is now available to visit. Come join us there to stay up-to-date about what's happening in the community! If you have any questions or concerns regarding any issues in our ward or the city, feel free to contact me at or by phone at 613-580-2491.