Thank you for dropping by my website. I was the federal Liberal candidate for Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston in 2021.
I’m seeking the nomination once again to be your Liberal candidate in the next federal election, whenever that may take place. I really enjoyed hitting the campaign trail in 2021 and getting to meet all the wonderful, hard-working people of our beautiful riding. Since then, I’ve continued working very hard to earn your trust and vote. I hope I can count on your support to secure the nomination and win the next federal general election in Lanark–Frontenac–Kingston!
Early Political Roots
I was raised in Sydenham, Ontario, attending Loughborough Public School and Sydenham High School. During my youth, my father served on Loughborough Township Council as a Councillor, Deputy Reeve and Reeve, and as Warden of Frontenac County. My husband, Wade Leonard, and his family have similar political roots. Many people still recount stories of Wade’s grandfather Keith Leonard and his time on municipal council and as Warden of Frontenac County.
I’m no stranger to political campaigns and I enjoy a good race! Following high school, I went to Queen’s University and obtained my Bachelor of Arts, Honours in Classical Studies with elective courses in natural geography and political science. I then attended the University of Windsor where I earned my Bachelor of Laws degree, graduating with the Municipal Law Award and a certificate in mediation and dispute resolution. I then returned home to begin my law career.
Did You Know?
- Michelle enjoys playing baseball and played in the local women’s softball league for Sydenham for several years.
- Michelle also enjoys horseback riding, having owned two horses during her high school and university years.
- Michelle and Wade enjoy spending time at the cottage on Bob’s Lake where fishing and kayaking are top on the list of activities.
While completing my articles, I decided to run in the 1997 Municipal Election and was successful, becoming the youngest representative of Loughborough District to serve on South Frontenac Township Council.
I began my municipal council service by responding to the devastating ice storm of 1998. In a very short time, I learned about the strengths of our community and the dedication of our leaders. We made sure that no resident was left behind, even if that meant days with little sleep and meals on the run. Our remote areas are beautiful and peaceful, but they can pose challenges when delivering services. They are also susceptible to the effects of climate change, against which we must fight.
From this experience, I began to understand the complexities of our riding and the importance of listening to residents to understand their unique needs. During my time on South Frontenac Township Council, I served on the Committee of Adjustment, the Planning Committee and the Community Policing Committee, among others. Each of these responsibilities taught me that understanding the unique character of our communities was critical to effectively representing my constituents. Amalgamation was not a point in time, but rather a process that required understanding and collaboration. Working through the consolidation of the former Townships’ Official Plans into one document was challenging, but also very rewarding.
After my time on Council, I focused on my family and building my own small business, a general law practice that serves residents of Kingston and the surrounding areas. I understand the challenges faced by young parents, who must seek childcare in order to work, which in many cases involves commuting significant distances. I can appreciate the challenges faced by small business owners, who provide employment for others while supporting their own families. Fiscal responsibility is essential for such business owners in order to succeed and I believe this should be no different for our governments. It’s critical that our representatives understand and advocate for the financial concerns of their residents. However, it also important that our representatives understand the complex social needs of our communities and constituents.
While operating my law practice, I also provided per diem services to the Kingston and Napanee Crown Attorney’s offices. In these roles, I have witnessed youth concerns as well as mental health and addiction needs. I understand the complexities of these societal concerns and the benefits of providing basic services and income for those who are unable to live above the poverty line. I also served a term as Chairperson of the local Employment Insurance Board of Referees. During my term, I learned so much about our employment insurance system, but unfortunately, I also witnessed situations when it was unable to help those in need. By providing the most basic of assistance to those less fortunate, we as a society provide dignity, respect and hope to our fellow citizens, which has far more intrinsic value than a balance sheet can demonstrate.
Did You Know?
- Michelle has two children – the oldest is attending Queen’s University to study media and film, and the youngest is in High School.
- Michelle’s oldest child has written, directed, produced and acted in a feature length firm called “How to Fix Radios”, which has aired at many film festivals.
- Michelle’s youngest child recently met Minister Omar Alghabra and relayed his concerns regarding the need for accessible and affordable high-speed rail travel in Canada.
Since 2003, I’ve served on the Board of Directors for local non-profit organization The Fort Henry Guard Club of Canada. The organization was formed to support the Fort Henry Guard, which provides summer employment for college and university students. In 1993, I became the first female Guard since the formation of the Fort Henry Guard by Ronald L. Way in 1938. I will not shy away from a challenge – I believe I can be the first female representative for the riding of Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston!
My time at Fort Henry and in the Guard taught me so many valuable leadership and service industry lessons. I learned about the value of tourism and how interconnected our communities become when we work together to promote common goals and build our economies. I also believe in giving back to organizations that give so much to us. I’ve served as President of the Fort Henry Guard Foundation, which is also a charitable organization dedicated to supporting the Guard. My time on both boards for these organizations has shown me how teamwork and collaboration can move mountains. The accomplishments of charitable and not-for-profit organizations cannot be emphasized enough and are to be valued as an integral part of our communities.
“I am a retired federal civil servant, finishing my career as a senior science policy advisor. I believe that Michelle Foxton, as our candidate, will provide a much needed, strong progressive voice representing all the people of our riding in the Canadian Parliament. Now is the time for change in LFK. Michelle has shown continued dedication and involvement in LFK since the last election. With her political and community experience and values, Michelle is the right person for the job. I am extremely impressed with her energy, her skills in engagement and debate, plus her integrity, warmth and empathy. In my opinion, Michelle is the real deal.”
– Sheryn Sauvé
CFO/Executive Director for Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston Provincial Liberal Association, Administrative Director for Michelle Foxton 2021 Campaign, and Past Vice-Chair for Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston Federal Liberal Electoral District Association