Editor’s note: With the new Kingston City Council beginning its term of office on Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018, we thought it would be a great time to catch up with the new and newly-re-elected members of council so that we could share a bit more about the 13 people who’ll be sitting around the horseshoe for the next four years. Using the classic Kingstonist model ‘Six questions with…’ we present Kingston City Council 2018-2022 councillor profiles.
A newcomer to Council Chambers, Bridget Doherty is “looking forward” to her first term in office representing Portsmouth District.
Doherty’s district, which had been represented by Liz Schell since 2010, saw some steep competition in the 2018 municipal election, with five people vying for the councillor’s position after Schell announced she was not running again. Doherty was the clear winner of the competition, as she took over 50 per cent of the votes in that district.
Born in Germany, Doherty immigrated to Canada with her parents in 1976 when she was just 11 years old. After marrying her husband, Paul, the couple moved to Sydney, Australia in 1991. The couple returned to Canada in 2001, and settled down in Kingston because they “both loved the lively downtown and the water.”
Doherty has an honours degree in Philosophy and English Literature from Trent University, and became a certified adult educator while living in Australia.
Doherty and her husband (who celebrated their 27th wedding anniversary during the campaign) have three children – their two eldest children were born in Sydney, and their youngest here in Kingston. The family have a dog, Sam, and some fish.
What made you want to get involved in municipal politics?
Political policies affect almost every aspect of our lives and the lives of our children. I am inspired by the City’s aim to become Canada’s most sustainable city; and look forward to developing local policies that build on our culture and heritage, strengthen our economy, support everyone’s social needs, and protect our air, water, and land.
What other work, if any, do you do? (Or what did you do before becoming councillor?)
I work as an educator/organizer on energy poverty, environmental and social policies. I advocate for policies and programs that benefit everyone.
What is the number one issue you want to address during this term of council?
With the federal government’s contract set to expire and the already long waiting list, as well as growing needs for seniors, we are going to have an even larger problem on our hands if we don’t make this a priority.
We need to expand our stock of affordable housing buildings such as the one at 40 Cliff Cres. This building includes a mixture of affordable units, rent-geared-to-income and market level rents. This style of affordable housing is suitable for people living on a fixed income, including seniors and people with accessibility needs. It is also sustainable for the City in the long run.
Will you vote in favour of moving forward with a ranked ballot in 2022?
In your mind, what is special about the district you represent?
Portsmouth District has very distinct neighbourhoods. Each has its own character and charm. We have relatively new neighbourhoods – Trailhead Place and Commodore Cove; areas that are examples of 1960’s family-friendly design – Polson Park and Calvin Park; and historic Portsmouth. They all share a sense of community where neighbours socialize and look after one other.
What is your favourite thing to do in your spare time?
I love hanging out with family and friends. No summer is complete without numerous get-togethers on Cedar Island, and no winter is complete without watching some Kingston Frontenac games.