Kate Dupuis is the new NDP candidate in Beaches-East York who will campaign in the June provincial election, the Ontario NDP has announced.
Dupuis is replacing incumbent Rima Berns-McGown, after Berns-McGown said she would not be campaigning in March.
Dupuis announced April 1 she was seeking the nomination as the NDP candidate in Beaches-East York to replace the incumbent Berns-McGown. Dupuis was officially nominated April 13 by the NDP as the candidate.
“Rima has been such an incredible advocate for community, and she’s done such amazing work in that portfolio. Personally, there’s so many issues that I’m eager to tackle in our community,” Dupuis said.
Dupuis said she has been interested in provincial politics for a while, as she sees intersection between provincial responsibilities and her experiences as a scientist and an educator.
Dupuis has a Ph.D in cognitive neuroscience from the University of Toronto and worked as a postdoctoral fellow for five years in the field of neuropsychology. She currently works at Sheridan College as a professor and as an expert in the affects of arts engagement in older adults and the barriers that limit them.
“I have so much experience in different sectors that I think could really help me within my role,” Dupuis said. “My understanding as a scientist and how important it is to make decisions based on science, that are based on data.”
Education, health care key issues for Dupuis
Dupuis, who has two daycare-aged children, spoke about affordable daycare, climate issues, long-term care and safety in schools regarding COVID-19 and support for children recovering from COVID.
Dupuis said areas like education and health care are key pieces that speak to her. She also said she has been involved in organizing in her community, specifically mentioning advocating for rapid testing in schools throughout the province.
“Though I am a newcomer to politics, I’m not a newcomer to the area; we’ve been here for over a dozen years. I’m definitely not a newcomer to advocating for others,” Dupuis said. “I have a hunger and a drive to keep our riding orange, that’s for sure.”
Dupuis’s main competition for the provincial election in Beaches-East York is Liberal candidate Mary-Margaret McMahon. McMahon is replacing Arthur Potts, who won the seat in 2014 and was succeeded by Berns-McGown in 2018.
McMahon is a former city councillor for Beaches-East York and declined to run in 2018 citing her belief in term limits for city councillors. In 2020, she announced that she was the Liberal candidate for the Beaches-East York provincial riding.
“I’m proud of my track record of getting things done in Beaches-East York for over the eight years I was city councillor,” McMahon said. “People know me as a woman of her word, I ran on term limits, and I honoured that, and I get things done.”
The provincial conservative candidate is Angela Kennedy, who is also the Ward 11 Trustee for the Toronto Catholic School Board.
Berns-McGown cited her own introversion, as well as toxicity at Queen’s Park as the reasons she will not be campaigning for a second term.
Update – April 20, 2022: This piece has been updated to include comment from Mary-Margaret McMahon.