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The PersistersCAN Podcast

The PersistersCAN Podcast

By Certified Persisters

The PersistersCAN Podcast brings listeners behind the scenes of civic life in Canada by interviewing the women who have stepped up to solve our country’s toughest challenges.

During each episode communications experts, policy advisors, and organizational strategists share their stories about how they first got involved, what it takes to do their jobs, and their advice to other women looking to get involved in civic life.

If your streaming profile includes a category for ‘Strong Female Leads’, this is the podcast for you. Join us wherever you get your podcasts.
Where to listen
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Amazon Music

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Apple Podcasts

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Google Podcasts

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Pocket Casts

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Spotify

Episode 13 - Tackling Poverty through Policy with Camille Gooden
Episode 13 - Tackling Poverty through Policy with Camille Gooden
Today’s certified persister is Camille Gooden. Camille was born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica and later attended the University of the West Indies and its law school. She was a practicing lawyer in Kingston for a decade before moving to Canada where she began practicing law in Ontario. She became a Health Policy Advisor in the Ministry of Health Promotion and Sport before serving as the Chief of Staff to the Minister of Consumer Services from 2012 to 2014 in the McGuinty Government. In the Wynne government, Camille served under the Deputy Premier and President of the Treasury Board, as well as the Minister of Housing and Minister Responsible for Poverty Reduction, as the senior policy advisor responsible for the Poverty Reduction Strategy, the Local Poverty Reduction Fund, and the historic Basic Income Pilot. Camille joins us today to talk about how she got involved in politics, what it takes to tackle poverty through policy work, and how we can encourage more women to get involved in civic life. Production Note: This episode was recorded on September 27, 2022.
58:53
November 25, 2022
Episode 12 - Communications Planning with Dawn Levine
Episode 12 - Communications Planning with Dawn Levine
Today’s certified persister is Dawn Levine. Dawn was born in Toronto and moved to Barrie, Ontario at the age of ten. She trained as a teacher before getting involved in local politics in the Etobicoke area during the 2008 federal election. She joined the office of Federal Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff during the constitutional crisis later that year before moving on to work in the Government of Ontario as a Legislative Assistant, Press Secretary, and Policy Advisor in the Ministry of Children and Youth Services. Dawn moved into communications planning in the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs before being promoted to the position of Director of Communications Planning in the Premier’s office. Dawn joins us today to talk about how she got involved in politics, what it takes to be a communications planner, and how we can encourage more women to get involved in civic life. Production Note: This episode was recorded on September 26, 2022.
01:06:45
November 18, 2022
Episode 11 - Managing the Campaign with Christine McMillan
Episode 11 - Managing the Campaign with Christine McMillan
Today’s certified persister is Christine McMillan. Christine grew up outside of Woodstock, Ontario and got involved in politics after one of her teachers suggested she get involved in a campaign to learn more about the political process. She would go on to serve as the Executive Assistant to an MPP before becoming the Issues Manager to the Leader of the Official Opposition. After the Ontario Liberals won the 2003 election, Christine joined the Premier’s Office as the Director of Operations and then Director of Strategic Research. As a volunteer she served on the party’s Executive Council, as the Secretary General of the party’s 2013 and 2020 leadership elections, and finally as the Campaign Director for the 2022 election campaign. Christine joins us today to talk about how she got involved in politics, what it takes to manage a province-wide election campaign, and how we can encourage more women to get involved in civic life. Production Note: This episode was recorded on August 26, 2022.
58:44
November 11, 2022
Episode 10 - Gender-Based Analysis in Policy-Making with Adrienne Lipsey
Episode 10 - Gender-Based Analysis in Policy-Making with Adrienne Lipsey
Today’s certified persister is Adrienne Lipsey. Adrienne was born in Toronto and began her career at Cabinet Office in Ontario before working in the United Nations Development Program and as a policy associate at the Mowat Centre. She made the transition to politics as a policy advisor in the Office of the Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation before becoming the Chief of Staff to the Minister for the Status of Women. Adrienne joins us today to talk about how she got involved in politics, what it takes to apply gender-based analysis to policy, and how we can encourage more women to get involved in civic life. Production Note: This episode was recorded on August 15, 2022.
48:59
November 04, 2022
Episode 9 - Media Relations with Karman Wong
Episode 9 - Media Relations with Karman Wong
Today’s certified persister is Karman Wong. Karman was born in Toronto and grew up in New Jersey. She returned to Canada to study Political Science at the University of Toronto and radio and television at Metropolitan University. She began her career as a journalist in New York and New Jersey before returning to Canada to serve as an issues manager in the McGuinty Liberal Government. She also served as the premier’s press secretary before becoming the Director of Issues Management and Legislative Affairs in the Premier’s Office. Karman joins us today to talk about how she got involved in politics, what it takes to be the premier’s press secretary, and how we can encourage more women to get involved in civic life. Production Note: This episode was recorded on August 10, 2022.
44:12
October 28, 2022
Episode 8 - Campaign Law with Jess Spindler
Episode 8 - Campaign Law with Jess Spindler
Today’s certified persister is Jess Spindler. Jess was born and raised in Toronto and got involved in politics during her studies at the University of Guelph. She served as a constituency assistant for the local Liberal MPP before becoming a legislative assistant and press secretary in the Ontario Liberal Government at Queen’s Park. She went on to earn her law degree and serve as the Director of Legal Affairs and Compliance for the Liberal Party of Canada. Jess has literally written the book on election law, served as a candidate in the 2018 Ontario election, and now works as a policy advisor to the Minister of Justice in the federal Liberal government. Jess joins us today to talk about how she got involved in politics, what it takes to successfully navigate political law, and how we can encourage more women to get involved in civic life. Production Note: This episode was recorded on August 2, 2022.  Editing Note: We had challenges with audio quality on the day of the recording and have tried to edit the episode to limit audio disruptions as much as possible.
55:07
October 21, 2022
Episode 7 - Political Speechwriting with Sonya Bell
Episode 7 - Political Speechwriting with Sonya Bell
Today’s certified persister is Sonya Bell. Sonya grew up in Barrie, Ontario and was introduced to politics by her conservative leaning father and her experiences in the education system under Premier Mike Harris. She got involved as a volunteer supporting her local Liberal candidate in Barrie and later as a student at McGill University in Montreal. She began her career as a journalist becoming the first hire at iPolitics, serving as a writer for This Hour has 22 Minutes, and as a producer and researcher for the CBC. She made the transition to politics as a campaign writer for the Leader of the Ontario Liberal Party before becoming a senior writer in the Premier’s Office. Sonya joins us today to talk about how she got involved in politics, what it takes to write for the Premier, and how we can encourage more women to get involved in civic life. Production Note: This episode was recorded on August 3, 2022.
52:04
October 14, 2022
Episode 6 - Youth Politics with Michelle Johnston
Episode 6 - Youth Politics with Michelle Johnston
Today’s certified persister is Michelle Johnston. Michelle grew up in Kitchener, Ontario and got involved in politics while studying at the University of Toronto by joining the Toronto Centre Young Liberals. She went on to serve on the Ontario Young Liberals executive before becoming the youth wing’s President ahead of the 2014 Ontario Election. In government, Michelle served as a legislative assistant and issues manager, an MPP Liaison, and a policy advisor. More recently, she has served as a Director of Communications in the federal Liberal government. Michelle joins us today to talk about how she got involved in politics, what it takes to support the youth wing of the party, and how we can encourage more women to get involved in civic life. Production Note: This episode was recorded on July 18, 2022.
52:53
October 07, 2022
Episode 5 - Building an Election Platform with Kate Graham
Episode 5 - Building an Election Platform with Kate Graham
Today’s certified persister is Kate Graham. Kate grew up in Southwestern, Ontario, beginning in Exeter before moving to London as a teenager. Kate and her siblings were inspired to pursue careers that gave back to their communities after watching their parents serve their community as educators. She first got involved in government service as a summer intern with the City of London and went on to serve the city for ten years before making the leap into politics. Kate ran twice as a candidate for the Ontario Liberals in London North Centre, once as a leadership candidate for the party, and most recently as a Platform Co-Chair for the 2022 Ontario Liberal election campaign. Kate joins us today to talk about how she got involved in politics, what it takes to build an election platform, and how we can encourage more women to get involved in civic life. Production Note: This episode was recorded on June 29, 2022.
56:53
September 30, 2022
Episode 4 - Staffing the Leader with Tracey Sobers
Episode 4 - Staffing the Leader with Tracey Sobers
Today’s certified persister is Tracey Sobers. Tracey was born in the UK before moving to Saint John, New Brunswick as a child and Ottawa, Ontario as a teenager. She was raised in a family where politics was talked about around the dining room table and everyone was expected to have an opinion. As she began her career in communications, she remained interested in the events of the day and became more involved in political action, including attending anti-apartheid marches. Tracey joined the office of Ontario Liberal Leader Dalton McGuinty after his 1999 election loss and was by his side during all three of his election victories in 2003, 2007, and 2011. Tracey joins us today to talk about how she got involved in politics, what it takes to be an executive assistant to the Premier, and how we can encourage more women to get involved in civic life. Production Note: This episode was recorded on June 30, 2022.
53:52
September 23, 2022
Episode 3 - Graphic Design with Andrea Ledwell
Episode 3 - Graphic Design with Andrea Ledwell
Today’s certified persister is Andrea Ledwell. Andrea was born on Prince Edward Island and came to politics after building up decades of graphic design experience in the private sector. She put her talents to political use for the first time during Kathleen Wynne's successful party leadership campaign and was tapped to serve as the Creative Director for the Ontario Liberal Caucus in the Legislative Assembly. She played a critical role designing campaign literature for the party as a volunteer during the 2014, 2018, and 2022 elections. Andrea joins us today to talk about how she got involved in politics, what it takes to be a partisan graphic designer, and how we can encourage more women to get involved in civic life. Production Note: This episode was recorded on June 24, 2022.
58:54
September 16, 2022
Episode 2 - Political Organization with Brooke Crewson
Episode 2 - Political Organization with Brooke Crewson
Today’s certified persister is Brooke Crewson. Brooke credits her upbringing as the daughter of mayor in a small town in rural Ontario for sparking her interest in politics. She’s been a grassroots volunteer, a party office staffer, a constituency, legislative, and executive assistant, an MPP liaison, an operations advisor, and a regional advisor to the Premier of Ontario. Brooke joins us today to talk about how she got involved in politics, what it takes to be a political organizer, and how we can encourage more women to get involved in civic life. Production Note: This episode was recorded on June 8, 2022.
49:48
September 09, 2022
Episode 1 - Sneak Preview of the PersistersCAN Podcast
Episode 1 - Sneak Preview of the PersistersCAN Podcast
Welcome to the PersistersCAN Podcast.  PersistersCAN host Theresa Lubowitz brings listeners behind the scenes of Canada’s civic life by interviewing the women who have stepped up to solve our country’s toughest problems. Listen in each week to hear their stories as they inspire the next generation of women to get involved in Canada’s civic life. Each episode, communications experts, policy advisors, organizational strategists, and more share their stories about how they first got involved, what it takes to do their jobs, and their advice for other women looking to make a positive impact on their country. If your streaming profile includes a category for ‘Strong Female Leads’, this is the podcast for you. Join us wherever you get your podcasts.
01:50
August 16, 2022