December 1, 2023 — Councillor Rowena Santos of Brampton has received yet another accolade for her notable contributions to the community. The latest recognition comes from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), where she has been named a ‘Municipal Trailblazer’ for the month of October – Women’s History Month – in their biweekly spotlight series, Municipal Trailblazers.

FCM President and Mayor of the Township of Gore, Scott Pearce, announced this recognition during the first spotlight on November 7, 2023, as part of FCM’s biweekly series, Municipal Trailblazers.

This honor follows closely on the heels of another prestigious award earlier this year, as Councillor Santos was recognized by Municipal World with the 2023 Women of Influence in Local Government Award in August. In a press release dated September 5, 2023, Municipal World highlighted Councillor Santos’ accomplishments.

Elected in 2018 as the first Filipino on the City of Brampton Council, Councillor Santos has been an advocate for equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in municipal government. She holds a position on the FCM board for the fourth straight term and is an integral member of the Anti-Racism and Equity Committee. Her collaborative efforts extend to working with organizations like the National Council of Canadian Muslims to address issues such as Islamophobia.

Councillor Santos has played a significant role in fostering inclusive work environments, making EDI a strategic priority. In her capacity as the City of Brampton’s Chair of Community Services, she has led initiatives on youth mental health and collaborated with local school boards. Her contributions include the development of the International Students Charter alongside Sheridan College, advocating for inclusivity in programs and services.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Councillor Santos co-chaired the Social Support Task Force, addressing food insecurity and providing essential health and well-being supplies and services to residents.

Expressing her gratitude for the Municipal World’s Women of Influence in Local Government Award, Councillor Santos emphasized the importance of progress for all women in politics, stating, “Take your place. Own the space. Do it with style, humour, smarts, and grace.”

Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown and Councillor Rowena Santos at the Calvert Park pickleball courts on November 25, 2023; adding more pickleball courts is one of the many initiatives championing by Councillor Santos.

Mayor Patrick Brown commended her as a fearless advocate for Brampton: “Councillor Santos is a fierce and fearless advocate for Brampton who strives to make a meaningful difference on many fronts in our community each day. At the Council table, she reminds us of our duty to look at City policies, services, programs and events through the lens of equity, diversity and inclusion to ensure we best serve our own community while leading by example for others across Canada. She has shown courage and resilience challenging the status quo and the old guard before her unwilling to accept progressive change.”

As we acknowledge Councillor Rowena Santos’ accomplishments, her dedication to fostering positive change in Brampton continues to set an inspiring example for communities across Canada.