A former MLA from Parksville has been inducted into the Canadian Disability Hall of Fame today.
Michelle Stilwell served two terms as MLA for Parksville Qualicum and was the Minister of Social Development and Innovation from 2015 to 2017.
On top of her political career, she is also a six-time gold medalist in wheelchair basketball and athletics, being the only female Paralympian to win gold in two different summer sports events.
“When you have a life-changing injury like a spinal cord injury like I had suddenly things are awakened and you start to see things that aren’t right or things that don’t work for you and you think that’s not OK. So you start using your voice and start advocating for change,” said Stilwell at the ceremony.
Stilwell reminisced on her athletic achievements and gave her vision for a future where people with disabilities had representation in all levels of government. “It’s important that the disability community has that voice and that their voice is heard. For me, it was being that voice and knowing that I could have that policy influence,” said Stilwell.
Stilwell joined over 123 other inductees.