A native of Montreal, Dr. Westley holds a PhD in Drama from the University of Toronto. She’s been a professor of Speech Communication at the University of Waterloo for twenty-five years; she also teaches communications at the Stratford Chefs School, where she is Head of Theory. She lives in Stratford ON and has two grown sons – one studying at McGill, the other working for Engineers Without Borders in Africa.

From 2000-2010, Dr. Westley served as trustee on the Avon Maitland District School Board, acting as chair for five of those years. During that period, she wrote a monthly column in the Stratford Beacon Herald titled “Educationally Speaking.” Her other published work includes scholarly articles, theatre reviews and a fantasy novel. She authors a blog on freedom of choice.

Watching her mother endure a prolonged painful cancer death convinced Dr. Westley that people should have the right to assistance in ending their lives if they are sufferingwith no hope of recovery. She joined the board of Dying with Dignity Canada in 2010 and became president in 2011. She believes Canada must legalize medically-assisted dying.