I am a Senator from Toronto, Ontario appointed in December of 2018. I grew up in Jamaica and migrated to Canada where I studied pediatrics and neonatology at SickKids. As a medical doctor for over three decades, I have cared for premature infants, sick newborns and medically fragile children. To complement my training, I completed a Master of Business Administration from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto and a Master of Public Administration from the School of Policy at Queen’s University. Now as a Senator, my constitutional role is to ensure that regional representation and the rights of minorities are considered in our laws and policies.
I am a Jamaican-born paediatrician and neonatologist. I decided early on in life that I wanted to become a doctor. After graduating from the University of the West Indies, I completed postgraduate training in Paediatrics and Neonatology at SickKids in Toronto. I am a senior neonatologist, clinical teacher and associate professor in the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Toronto. My scholarly work has focused on regional health services, hospital accreditation and physician human resource planning. I continue to practice community paediatrics in a Toronto neighbourhood improvement area.
Becoming a Senator allowed me to elevate my voice - I can continue the advocacy work I have pursued my whole life but now I am able to apply it much more widely. I was appointed to the Senate on December 12, 2018 and I represent the interests of Ontario as an Independent senator.
I am on the Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, as well as on the Committee on National Security and Defence. I am also an active member of the Parliamentary Black Caucus and passionate about the need for disaggregated data to strengthen the fight for Anti-Black racism.
On September 30th, 2020, I introduced Senate Bill S-210 - An Act to establish the Office of the Commissioner for Children and Youth in Canada. The bill is currently in its second reading.
You can read more about the Commissioner of Childen and Youth here.
Throughout my life I have advocated for women and girls. I have worked to reduce social inequities and health disparities among children and communities and served on numerous not-for-profit boards in health, education and social development. I was the President and Board Chair of the YWCA Toronto when the Elm Centre was completed. The Elm Centre is Canada’s largest affordable housing project for single low-income women, women with mental health and addiction issues, and families of Aboriginal ancestry. I am on the Board of Directors for Unity Health Toronto, Orbis Canada and ScotiaBank Jamaica Foundation.