Christina Smith

Christina Smith possesses a rare mixture of business acumen and public affairs experience based on her work with the Coca Cola Bottling Company and in the Federal Government as a Legislative Assistant and Policy Advisor to The Honorable Stephane Dion when he was Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and President of the Queen’s Privy Council.

After taking three years away from her career to look after her young children, Christina entered Westmount municipal politics and was elected a Councillor in 2013. When Peter Trent decided to step down in April to ‘make way for the next generation’; Christina was elected unanimously by her fellow Councillors to become Westmount’s Mayor.

She has been encouraged by many residents to run for Mayor, and has the enthusiastic support of Peter Trent, who was first elected Mayor in 1991. He recognizes in Christina an ability of putting the interests of the citizens at the core of the decision making process.

In addition to her municipal job responsibilities, Christina volunteers as many other parents do, to ensure good coaching for the city’s sports teams. Christina has enlisted two teenagers as Assistant Coaches; “This has turned out well for me as a coach and for the teens assisting me. I think it’s a program that we should encourage and extend to other teams.”

I also learned during our conversation that Mayor Smith possesses a down-to-earth common sense that brings freshness to her decision-making process.  “We’re re-doing Grosvenor this summer, and I mentioned to our Public Works Department that we have a gentleman in a wheel chair about halfway up the block. Working with the contractor and our public works staff, they devised the work schedule to minimize the inconvenience to our citizen.”

After graduating from university, Christina applied for variety of parliamentary jobs in Ottawa. She was eventually hired by the late Sheila Finestone, who became a friend and mentor.

After two years of working for Ms. Finestone, Christina secured a job working as a senior aide to Stephane Dion, then Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs. Christina’s responsibilities included The Official Languages Act and The Clarity Act, the Federal Government’s clear and unambiguous legislation that established a framework for negotiations in the event of a successful “Yes” vote for Quebec to secede.

“I then decided that it was to get some industry experience, and got a job with Coca Cola. I had the difficult task of helping the company to comply with a changing perception and a declining market for the soft drink industry. As acting Vice President, I was involved in the decision to remove machines from schools. I also worked with recycling boards; and developed a way to reduce the company’s environmental footprint by modifying truck routes to reduce mileage and exhaust emissions.”

During the three years that she took time out from her career, Christina was an active volunteer. “I got involved in municipal politics because of Peter Trent. I came to him about a traffic accident, and his response was; ‘Let’s do something about this.’ We did, and that’s why we have a ‘wheels to the curb’ bylaw.  It was a common-sense solution to a dangerous problem.”

“While Westmount is now debt free and we are doubling the amount that was formerly spent on infrastructure, we have some land development issues to manage. We have an excellent staff and management in all of our departments. My goal is to make our Urban Planning process more responsive to the community, so that we have citizen input right from the start.”

“I hope that Westmount residents will give me the same confidence that my council colleagues did, and vote for me to continue as the Mayor of Westmount in the coming elections on November 5th.”

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