Niagara Region councillor Sandi Bellows has died after a “brave battle with cancer,” according to the region’s chair.
In a statement, Jim Bradley said Bellows died Sunday night and conveyed his condolences to friends and family mourning the “significant loss.”
“Councillor Bellows was a valued member of our council and her presence will be missed in our meetings, and by her friends, family and constituents,” said Bradley.
The councillor had previously represented the ward of Grantham in St. Catharines between 2014 and 2018 and was most notably an advocate for many government and law enforcement agencies, including conferences for the Ontario and Canadian Police Chiefs, hostage negotiators and American law enforcement agencies.
The work resulted in an invite to the Victims Bill of Rights ceremony in 2015 during the era of prime minister Stephen Harper.
Bellows was the survivor of a kidnapping and rape in 1990 in which she received a number of stab wounds from her attacker.
The councillor was also a commissioner with the Niagara Parks Board and held board positions with the Niagara Grape and Wine Festival, Crime Stoppers of Niagara, St. Catharines Minor Hockey Association Board, Vic Teal International Tournament and May Court Club of St. Catharines.
St. Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik described Bellows as “hardworking, caring and a genuine team player” in tribute on Twitter while St. Catharines MP Chris Bittle paid tribute to her “incredible strength” as an advocate and survivor of sexual violence.
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