First, let me tell you who I’m not—I am not the Canadian short-track speed skater who won six world-champion medals. I am the Valerie Maltais who received her Bachelor of Science in environmental earth sciences—yes, an environmentalist with a scientific background.
Throughout my career, I have focused on sustainability and have been recognized for having extensive experience working with government (on the other side of the table though), developing strategies and implementing programs related to energy use and greenhouse gas reductions, community development, and volunteer and stakeholder engagement in Canada and in the United States.
My former colleagues will tell you that I am also recognized for my leadership qualities—I lead by example. I lead my teams to reach aggressive goals by motivating others as well as setting and communicating a clear and actionable plan to achieve a shared vision for the future.
My personal view, is that success is closely linked to humility—demonstrated through hard work and dedication, which has been a large part of my success. I am an engaged and energetic leader who takes the time to understand issues in depth, builds long-lasting relationships with key stakeholders, and confronts tough negotiations with a view to arriving at a win/win solution. Real experience, hard work, and rolling up our sleeves is what the Beaches – East York and the City of Toronto needs. That approach, already a part of my DNA, was enhanced as a result of my Project Management certification. In my role as City Councillor, I will use both my leadership and project management skills to deliver on my campaign promise to act now to make the Beaches – East York a thriving community for years to come.
I am an active member of my community. I volunteer with many organizations including the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority and I also serve on the Board of Directors of Youth Rising Above. As a shop-local advocate, I also have strong relationships and contacts with many residents and business owners. As such, I know what’s important to the community, the city and its residents. You can count on me to make a difference.
Family and friends — my incredible support network
I am lucky to have so many wonderful supportive family and friends both in and outside of the community. My partner in life, love and adventure, Denis, is a proud Torontonian (born and raised in Newfoundland) and a brilliant engineer. He is one of my biggest supporters and has always been there to encourage me and challenge me by being objective.
I was born and raised in Timmins Ontario, the city with the heart of gold, by two incredible people with strong values and who are no strangers to hard work. I’m a lucky aunt to three lovely nephews, a sister to an awesome mechanic who is always there for me—and my car—if needed, and the daughter-in-law to two wonderfully adventurous individuals. I come from a very large Francophone family composed of resilient and exceptional aunts, uncles and cousins that have shaped my life and have given me so many great memories that cannot be described in just a few words.
I am lucky to have a 17-year old beagle and an overly affectionate cat who are always there when I arrive home after a long day to remind me of how much they love and need me.