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By Mark Pavilons
King Township will be saying goodbye one of its long-serving provincial politicians.
Dr. Helena Jaczek was nominated by a crowd of supporters and community members to run for re-election as the Ontario Liberal candidate in the newly formed riding of Markham-Stouffville. The event also marked Dr. Jaczek's 10-year anniversary serving as a MPP.
King's other veteran MPP, Julia Munro, announced earlier this year she's retiring from politics.
The recently formed King-Vaughan riding will see a brand new MPP. Currently, two candidates have come forward to run for the position – Conservative Stephen Lecce and Liberal Marilyn Iafrate.
During her remarks at the nomination meeting, Dr. Jaczek noted it was “an absolute privilege for me to serve as the Member of Provincial Parliament for the residents of Oak Ridges-Markham. I want to thank the residents of this riding for their support and encouragement over the last ten years. I'm proud of what we have accomplished together and I'm truly honoured to be running again to represent you at Queen's Park in the new riding. I look forward to the campaign ahead.”
“As your MPP on Premier Kathleen Wynne's team, I've worked hard to deliver reliable local health care, a high-quality education system and to ensure our community receives needed investments in transit. I am determined to continue to work together to build on the progress we've made so far,” Dr. Jaczek added.
Dr. Jaczek was first elected as MPP in October 2007, and was re-elected in October 2011 and June 2014. She currently serves in Premier Kathleen Wynne's cabinet as the Minister of Community and Social Services. She is also the vice-chair of the Health, Education and Social Policy Cabinet Committee and a member of the Minister's Table on Mental Wellness as well as Poverty Reduction and Social Inclusion.
At age 12, Dr. Jaczek immigrated to Canada from England. She went on to receive her medical degree and Master of Health Sciences from the University of Toronto. After many years in general practice on staff at Women's College Hospital in Toronto, Dr. Jaczek became the Chief Medical Officer of Health and Commissioner of Health Services for the Regional Municipality of York.
Dr. Jaczek's community leadership has earned her awards from the University of Toronto's Public Health Sciences Alumni Association, the Association of Local Public Health Agencies and from York Region. In 2016, Dr. Jaczek received the Ontario Psychological Association Service Award and the Ontario Medical Association Life Membership Award. This past April, Dr. Jaczek received the Helen Keller Award from the Canadian Foundation for Physically Disabled Persons and the Canadian Helen Keller Centre for the contributions she has made to hearing and visually impaired individuals.
She first moved to York Region in 1980 where she now lives with her partner, Hershel, and is the mother of two adult children, Natasha and Nicholas.
“It has been an honour and a privilege to represent King Township for the past 10 years. I have enjoyed working with Mayor Pellegrini and all of the municipal councillors. King Township has seen great progress while maintaining its small community feeling. It has been terrific to get too know so many engaged King residents and to meet so many passionate volunteers at events in King such as the Horticultural Societies garden tours in Schomberg, Nobleton and King City and the Art Society Tour, that I had the pleasure of attending through the years,” Jaczek said.
“As MPP, I had the opportunity to champion, a number of exciting investments for the township – the expansion of Seneca King campus, bringing internet service to residents and businesses located in rural areas in King Township, the extension of the highway 427 and expanded parking at the King GO station.
“I would be remiss if I did not mention how proud I have been of our local athletes, whether it was celebrating Rosie MacLennan's gold medal at the 2012 Olympics, participating in Daniel Carrillo's Stanley Cup celebration in 2013, or honouring Alex Pietrangelo's 2014 Olympic gold medal.”
Excerpt: King Township will be saying goodbye one of its long-serving provincial politicians. Dr. Helena Jaczek was nominated by a crowd of supporters and community members to run for re-election as the Ontario Liberal candidate in the newly formed riding of Markham-Stouffville. The event also marked Dr. Jaczek’s 10-year anniversary serving as a MPP.
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