Dr. Laura Shantz is a researcher, part-time University of Ottawa professor, an active community member, and now, she is your progressive candidate for Ottawa city council in Rideau-Vanier.
Laura is a 13-year resident of Vanier, where she lives with her partner Craig, their two boys, and their very friendly cat Martha. She has held a wide range of positions, including in advocacy, policy development, research, and community engagement.
While working at emergency shelters in downtown Ottawa, Laura saw how important it was to be able to connect with people in their first language. She set out to learn French and is now fluently bilingual, and so are her children.
She grew up in a rural area where she learned to value community support and taking care of neighbours. As a student at the University of Ottawa, Laura lived in abject poverty. She worked difficult, low-paying jobs to put herself through school and pay her rent and often was left with almost no money to pay for food.
Her deep sense of justice, fairness, equity, and inclusion led her to pursue a Ph.D. in criminology, studying women over the age of fifty experiencing homelessness. She appreciates and values that each person experiences life differently. Laura is committed to meeting the needs of Ottawa’s diverse community, including by drawing on her own lived experience with autism.
Laura envisions Rideau-Vanier as a community where everyone can thrive and succeed together. A place where taking care of each other and treating each person with dignity and respect are defining values. To Laura, it is vitally important for the lived realities of people in her ward to be brought to city hall. She will ensure that the issues that matter to her constituents receive the attention they deserve.