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On the phone with social justice consultant Sherry Hassanali, District 10

“The fact that there’s never been a woman of colour on council in the 271 years is a story.”

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MELVIN CHISHOLM PHOTOGRAPHY
  • Melvin Chisholm Photography
“I am a story. I am the only woman of colour running in my district,” says Sherry Hassanali, a second-generation Canadian. “The fact that there’s never been a woman of colour on council in the 271 years is a story.”

Hassanali’s parents moved to Canada from Trinidad and Tobago. And over the last 24 years of her working life, she’s been a teacher and consultant on equity, diversity, human rights and social justice inclusion.

Hassanali, who’s worked in various capacities of public service, says she’s running for council for District 10 (Halifax–Bedford Basin West) because her service to her community is incomplete. “I truly believe that my purpose in life is to serve.” Although she doesn’t currently live in District 10, she’s schooled, lived and worked in the district. “How I can serve the community really fits well with District 10.”

During the campaign, Hassanali has talked with residents and heard complaints about speeding, the lack of a development plan for the Bedford Highway and the need for more crosswalks and sidewalks. If elected, she would work with different city departments and listen to the various needs of each individual neighbourhood “so I could ensure the safety and wellness of the residents of District 10.”

She says District 10 is the fastest-growing multi-ethnic area in Nova Scotia, and she’d like to see the different diversity groups in the district work together. “Diversity is our biggest asset,” she says. “We all have this fabulous talent that will truly make Halifax stronger provincially, nationally and internationally.”

Hassanali stands by her campaign slogan “Now’s the time,'' and she wants to see a real change at the council level in Halifax. “I really do believe that the council must represent the diversity of its citizens,” she says, adding that she’s the one for the job because “I truly understand what polarity and diversity mean.”

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