Born in Toronto to immigrant parents, Karin Howard earned a Biology degree from the University of Guelph, a an LLB (JD) from the University of Ottawa and has studies towards a Master’s degree in Law from Queen’s University, (thesis not complete: political accountability). She is a wife, and mother of three.
Karin has worked as a lawyer in private practice (tax and business law), in government (GST policy), and has taught many law courses in Algonquin College’s Law Clerk program.
In 1994, Karin was elected city councillor in Ottawa. She brought the initiative to get monthly accountability reports to Council, drafted a municipal Code of Ethics that was adopted, and worked hard to push the motion to make the City Auditor independent. Her motion to pay all extra funds, received by the City after the annual budget into reserve funds, saved the City one million dollars.
After winning re-election in 1997, Karin proposed a successful motion to support amalgamation of municipalities only if the budget of the new government was not larger than the combined budgets of the individual cities.
Karin moved to China in 1999, where she was appointed trustee to the International School of Beijing, elected to the Canada China Business Council, and helped build two new schools: the International School of Beijing and a local primary school. Karin also worked at a Canadian business law firm. She has basic Mandarin and German ability, and is a 1+ in French.
When she returned to Ottawa, Karin Howard organized a rally to protest the firing of Russell Mills and to support press freedom.
Karin has served as director for the Riverside Park Community and Recreation Association, as President of the Somali Canadian Youth Centre and as director on the Ottawa Rowing Club board. As an advocate for persons with disabilities, she served on the Accessibility with Moxie Foundation, the City of Ottawa’s Disability Advisory Committee, and the Queen’s Accessibility Committee.
In 2016 Karin and a large group of residents of Ottawa South opposed the failed process that led to the razing of 50 trees at Mooney's Bay, a popular UNESCO World Heritage site without community consultation. Karin firmly believes that the rule of law informs good democracy.
Karin is proud of her record of balanced budgets and public accountability, and is excited to bring those skills to Queen’s Park!