Accolades continue to pour in for fallen regional councillor Sandie Bellows

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Published October 13, 2021 at 3:07 pm

The accolades continue to pour in for Niagara Regional Councillor Sandie Bellows who passed away on Thanksgiving weekend after a battle with cancer.

Niagara Falls MPP Wayne Gates referred to her strength as Bellows was well-known as a public speaker for victims rights after being kidnapped in 1990 and then being raped and nearly killed by her abductor.

“Sandie was a survivor who used her story and incredible strength to inspire Niagara and her home city of St. Catharines,” said Gates.

“She was a fierce and dedicated representative who set the bar high for all of those seeking public office. Her positivity, her hope and her passion for Niagara will not be forgotten.”

Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley called Bellows a “fierce victims’ rights advocate,” adding she “took her responsibilities as an elected official seriously, and effectively carried out these duties with integrity. Even while Councillor Bellows courageously battled her illness, she continued to attend Regional Council meetings and assist residents with their concerns. Her absence will be felt across the entire Niagara Region.”

Niagara Falls MP Tony Baldinelli remembered his friend’s spirit, saying, “I have had the pleasure of working with some truly incredible women, and Sandie was among the best.  She was community minded, determined in all that she took on, loyal, fun loving and above all else, kind.”

Former political opponent Jennie Steven, the St Catharines MPP who beat Bellows in the last provincial election (Stevens ran for the NDP, Bellows for the Conservatives), had nothing but praise.

“Even though we were on opposite sides of the political spectrum, Sandie and I became very good friends,” said Stevens. “Our political differences always came second to all decisions made in the best interest of the people of St. Catharines.”

Stevens continued, “Sandie served as a strong advocate for all female politicians in Niagara. Her positive spirit and kindness was highlighted in all the community work Sandy  did. She should be remembered for her true kindness, sincerity, thoughtfulness for everyone she met and her strength in facing life’s challenges.”

And with a final nod to her former St Catharines council mate, Stevens noted, “I will miss your smile. I will have a girly fluffy drink on you.”

(Photo by Sandie Bellows and Tony Baldinelli courtesy of Facebook)

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