Councillor Gleeson Nominated for Samara’s “Everyday Political Citizen”
Posted: November 14, 2017
Mary-Pat Gleeson of Petrolia, ON, was nominated by Rosanne Orcutt
Having left her small Petrolia Ontario town with both trepidation and determination to seek a career in Canada’s film industry, Mary-Pat successfully spent a number of years with Alliance and Columbia Films in post-production, production and distribution, eventually forming her own distribution company in Vancouver. She had talent and success!
But, concern for a seriously ailing mother brought her back to Ontario, and the film industry became part of her past. She quickly learned the importance of advocating, first for necessary health care in her immediate family, and then for the broader community. She became a key mover with a community-wide committee determined to saving the local hospital, improving rural heath, and engaging directly with the provincial government to do so. It was exhaustive work over a number of years with countless citizen gatherings, but its success ultimately motivated her to run for municipal office to enhance her capacity to give back.
As an elected town Councillor, Mary-Pat was a moving force behind a unique partnership between the municipality and Bluewater Health Hospital that is seeking to design a whole new strategy for approaching health care in rural communities such as hers. Now the province has committed several million dollars to a project that will see both the hospital planning and development and the town planning and development taking into account the complete physical, mental, and social well-being of all residents and working together to achieve that. Rather than seeing health as just the absence of disease or infirmity, it becomes a guiding spirit of community that can truly make wellness the ultimate goal of our health system. This amazingly creative idea may well become a model for all of Ontario.
Mary-Pat has devoted infinite hours on countless other committees as a caring private citizen…and as an elected citizen who had the courage to step forward into formal political process. For years she has been making dramatically effective and selfless contributions to the community and the Canada she loves. Truly an Everyday Political Citizen deserving of our recognition and respect.