In a gathering of family and friends Monday, veteran Councillor Gael Miles (Ward 7-8) announced she would not be seeking re-election in this Fall’s municipal election.
Miles, a councillor for 30 years, was first elected a city councillor in 1988 and then as a Regional Councillor in 1991. Throughout her time on council Miles has considered safety, health and prosperity the main focuses of her work on council.
“I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to be a member of council for so many years, I love what I do, and I love being able to build this city and help the community,” says Miles. “The best thing about being a member of council has always been the people. the people I’ve gotten to know and the people I’ve gotten to help.”
In her 30 years as on Council Miles has championed many causes. Community safety has been a top priority for her, having founded the city’s first ever Neighbourhood Watch program. As a volunteer for Brampton’s former Safety City Association, she was instrumental in helping Brampton be designated a safe community by the World Health Organization as an international safe community in 2007 and 2012.
Brampton also has Miles to thank in part for bringing flowers back into the city’s identity. Miles led the city’s Flower City Strategy Committee and the Communities in Bloom Committee, which both worked hard to position Brampton as what it’s known well for today, beautiful flowers.
In her role as Regional Councillor, Miles has been Chair of Human Services and a member of Peel Housing Corporation. She has also served as Vice-Chair of the Peel Regional Police Services Board, Chair of Strategic Planning, and Chair of Peel Youth Violence Committee among other positions.
In 2008 Miles was instrumental in bringing Wellspring Chinguacousy, a full-service support centre for individuals and families coping with cancer. Miles who is a cancer survivor herself started the foundation to hep provide emotional and psychological support to members of the community battling cancer.
“The most important thing I’ve ever done was Wellspring Chinguacousy. That came about with my own experience having been diagnosed with cancer in 2004. At that time in Brampton, there was nowhere to turn for the emotional support that was needed to get through it,” says Miles.
Miles is the third veteran councillor to recently announce she would be retiring. Regional Councillor Elaine Moore (Ward 1-5) and City Councillor Grant Gibson (Ward 1-5) have also announced they won’t be seeking re-election, which Brampton can expect at least three new faces on council come October.
Miles offers some advice for residents to consider when they head to the polls this Fall saying, “Come election time and you’re looking for someone to elect, I hope you’ll look for someone who is running because they want to do the job, not because they want to be a politician. Look for someone who wants to work as a member of a team, not someone who wants to work on their own. This is not about you, this is about building a city.”