Jennifer O'Connell Quotes
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Jennifer O'Connell is a Canadian Liberal politician, who was elected to represent the riding of Pickering—Uxbridge in the House of Commons of Canada in the 2015 federal election.
O'Connell attended the University of Toronto, where she earned a degree in political science. She then clerked at a law firm specializing in labour relations, and became involved in municipal politics in Pickering. In 2006, she was elected to the city council representing Ward 1. She was re-elected in 2010 and 2014, and at the time of her election to the House of Commons was serving as the city's deputy mayor. In March 2014 she had been approached by the local Liberal riding association about serving as their candidate in the upcoming federal election, and initially declined, intending to focus on her re-election at the municipal level. Following the municipal elections in October 2014, she was approached again, and agreed to seek the nomination, which she won in January 2015.
During her time on Pickering and Durham Region Council, O'Connell was a member of the Durham Region Finance and Administration Committee, as well as the Chair of the Waterfront Committee and Vice-Chair of the Sustainable Pickering Committee. She supported and participated in the Great Waterfront Trail Adventure, a six-day cycling ride that spans 475 kilometers, 7 regions and 27 communities from Northumberland to Niagara.
O'Connell was also a volunteer board member at the Durham Association for Family Respite Services, a local organization that provides support to families with a member who has an intellectual disability or a child with a physical disability.
After her victory in the 2015 Federal Election Campaign, O'Connell became a Member of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance. Through her role on the committee, O'Connell works on a number of important financial issues affecting her constituents. After the release of the Panama Papers, O'Connell aggressively questioned KPMG and Canada Revenue Agency officials on their roles concerning tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance schemes.
She claims her concerns focused on the treatment of taxpayers by CRA officials while corporations and wealthy individuals like Stephen Bronfman set up schemes to avoid paying taxes, O'Connell cited her constituents who find themselves in long and costly disputes with the Canada Revenue Agency over a relatively smaller amount of owed taxes.
On the Finance Committee, O'Connell also focuses on affordable housing, infrastructure and accessibility issues, continuing her priorities and passions from her time on Pickering Council.