Prior to being elected, Smith served in Federal and Provincial Public Services for ten years. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Psychology from Dalhousie University, and a Master of Arts in Sociology from Carleton University. While on council, she was seen as on the left wing. She ran for mayor in 1991, losing to Jacquelin Holzman by just over 3,000 votes.
Since her defeat, Smith served as the chair of the Ontario Housing Corporation, served on the Ontario Municipal Board, was an associated for MAXGROUP Associates, and since 1999 she has owned her own consulting business.