Single mom goes from eviction to election bid


Rose Streete, Candidate for Mississauga Ward 8, in the playground she helped coordinate in Glenway Court, the neighbourhood where she once lost everything she owned.


Pregnant with her fourth child, Rose Streete was a single mother who found herself homeless in 2006 after losing her job in the auto industry.

Last year, the 44-year-old graduated from Sheridan in the Community Outreach Worker program as the valedictorian for her class. Since graduating she has worked as a project coordinator for the Peel Children and Youth Initiative, as well as a realtor representative for Royal Le Page. Now, she has her eyes set on becoming the councillor for Ward 8 in Mississauga.

“I commit to use the same courage, resiliency and determination that I used to bring my family back from the brink, when I represent the residents of Ward 8,” said Streete.

Standing at 5-foot-7, Streete has long hair that is dyed a dark chocolate with subtle golden brown highlights. Pearl bracelets and a flower shaped ring highlight her simple French manicure.

Her platform revolves around raising the economic prosperity of the community by helping the most vulnerable of citizens, such as youth, elderly, jobless and homeless.

“The right councillors will be dynamic with a passion for people,” said Streete. “They will also have knowledge and experience to bring your voice into government and make decisions to create the best quality of life for the people – the majority and the minority.

In 2006 her life began spiralling down when she lost the job she had for more than two years as a customer service representative with a major automaker where she addressed issues clients had with their cars.

rosestreeteawards4Taking advice from her doctor, Streete decided to go on short-term disability leave when told she had a high-risk pregnancy. The company however, tried to force her to stay in order to keep clients. In the end, the company claimed that Streete abandoned her job and stopped paying her.

“I actually loved my job. It wasn’t that I didn’t like it, but you have to be self-caring and regulating. When it comes to having a child, that takes priority over anything,” said Streete.

By the time Employment Insurance came through, she had been without pay for about four months. The company took away her car and income, forcing Streete and her three children to find refuge at the Peel Family Shelter in Mississauga after being evicted from their home.

At the time, Streete was with her common law husband who also thought she should keep working. Despite being the father of one of her children, during her family’s downfall he left.

Streete went to the Human Rights Commission and eventually won the case against the company. Part of the terms forbids her to disclose what she received from the corporation. She also wishes not to disclose the name of the corporation for good business practice.

“I dug deep down inside and pulled myself out. I had children and I had to show them the way. Instead of being jaded, I built it all back.”

By August 2007 Streete moved back to Ward 8 in the Colonial and Collegeway community, which is only about a five-minute drive from Glenway Court, the area where she once lost everything. Since coming back, Streete was able to coordinate a team of about 180 volunteers with the Region of Peel and other businesses to build a playground in her old neighbourhood.

The playground was built in October 2009, decked in bright yellow, blue and red and fully equipped with a jungle gym, swing set and even a mini rock-climbing wall. The fences surrounding the park were painted over, featuring a beautiful sunny day with blue skies, and an array of flowers mounted on green hills.

Steete now has five children, two sons and three girls. The oldest is 24, while the youngest is four.

Her eldest son Ryan Malcolm-Campbell recently graduated from the University of Ottawa in Commerce. He’s also Steete’s campaign manager, keeping track of the events and meetings she needs to attend and making sure she’s up-to-date on social media.

“She’s fearless, she just keeps going,” said Malcolm-Campbell. “She’s where I get my entrepreneur spirit from. Some people can’t do it with any children.”

The system once failed her, he says, but she wants to create change so it doesn’t happen to anyone else.

Streete has been nominated for a 2014 Premier’s Award. She was also Sheridan’s 2014 convocation alumni speaker for the Faculty of Applied Health and Community Studies. She was the recipient of the Peel YMCA Peace Medallion in 2013, and received the Community Leadership Award in Sheridan’s Community Worker – Outreach and Development program in 2012.

“What else am I going to do now that I’ve worked on the issues on the ground level? You need to be in policy and where these policies are made,” said Streete.

Elections will be held Oct. 27, Streete is running against 10 other candidates in Ward 8, including Matt Mahoney the son of Katie Mahoney, the most recent councillor for Ward 8, Michael Miller the executive assistant to MPP of Mississauga-Erindale Harinder Takhar and Cecil Young the author of One Canada: Creating the Greatest Country on Earth.

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