For the past four years, Mike Foley has served as a school board trustee for Upper Grand District School Board in Guelph. During that time, he developed a reputation as a progressive, approachable trustee who was always willing to speak out about what is best for students, staff and the community.
Mike spearheaded the effort to ensure that the antidote naloxone was made available in schools to combat the opioid crisis. He says that it took a year to build consensus for his proposal, “but I got it done.” In 2020, Mike initiated an online townhall meeting on the issue of police officers in high schools to gauge public opinion in Guelph and to learn from the experiences of former and current students.
Public service, civic responsibility, and giving back to the community have always been Mike’s guiding principles. As parents, Mike and his wife Elaine were actively involved in after-school programs that helped develop the social growth of students. Since moving to Wasaga Beach, Mike has volunteered in ski programs in Collingwood.
From 1999-2019, he served as President of Wastewise, an environmental charity based in Georgetown that recycles household items, keeping them out of landfills and generating revenue that supports educational programs and student scholarships. He was one of the founders of the Georgetown Breadbasket food bank and he serves on the executive of the Council of Canadians.
Mike grew up in the small town of Saint-Janvier, north of Montreal, just to the east of what is now Mirabel International Airport. He recalls that much of the town was demolished for the airport construction: “They even dug up the graves for reinternment ”. His father, who worked for Alcan, was a member of the Sheet Metal Workers Union.
Mike attended Dawson College in Montreal (Fine Arts and Social Sciences). He moved to Ontario, living in Georgetown, Rockwood, and then Guelph, and he worked several jobs, including real estate, before joining the Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, where he worked until his retirement in 2018. He held positions including Correctional Officer and Recreation Officer, working with youth and adults at medium- and maximum-security correctional facilities. He was active in his union, OPSEU – serving as a union steward, Occupational Health co-chair, and as one of six provincial harassment / human rights investigators. Mike also taught in the correctional-worker program at Sheridan College.
“Mike Foley is committed to high-quality public education in Ontario. He is approachable and responsive. UGDSB’s loss will be SCDSB’s gain.”Andrea Chittle, MD, CCFP
Phone: (519) 993-7474