ary Lou LeRoy wants to help improve the lives of the residents of Lower Sackville—her decision to run for council in District 15 (Lower Sackville) is as simple as that. “I want to make a difference in people's lives,” she says. “To do that I have to have a say in decision making for the area.”
After volunteering for a host of organizations including Hope Cottage, Mission to Seafarers, the Women’s Health Education Network and Halifax Pride, LeRoy says getting into politics seemed like the next logical choice. “I like being a part of things and I like being a part of the decision making, so this is a natural progression to continue to help people.”
LeRoy is passionate about a lot of public policy areas, such as seniors’ housing, green energy, anti-racist policies and affordable housing. One thing especially close to her heart is improving mental health services. LeRoy has worked in the mental health field for over 30 years and really wants to make a difference in that sector. “Some people think ‘mental health doesn’t involve me,’ but mental health involves everyone,” she says. She wants to make those services more accessible, and examine the long waiting lists that exist for certain mental health services.
And when it comes to getting things done on council, she’s like a dog with a bone. “I never give up,” LeRoy says. “If anything’s happening, I’m going to see it through to the end.” She says this kind of determination will help her on council.
Also useful are the communication and problem solving skills LeRoy’s honed throughout her career in helping people and organizations deal with disasters. She’s run her own crisis consulting business for over 25 years, providing counselling and support to survivors of traumatic events such as the 2010 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig. So she is experienced at tackling tough situations head on, but with compassion—a definite asset to a councillor, especially when it comes to contentious issues like defunding the police.
“It’s not a simple thing like ‘let’s cut the police budget and be done with it.’ It’s about working together with people and really taking a look at things,” she says. “It takes a concerted effort.”