Toronto Mayor John Tory has appointed two city councillors to fill positions previously held by the late Pam McConnell.
Councillor Ana Bailão has been appointed as the deputy mayor for the Toronto and East York District, while Councillor Joe Mihevc will take on the role of poverty reduction advocate for the City of Toronto.
“I am proud that Councillor Bailão and Councillor Mihevc have accepted these positions and I look forward to working with them on these important issues for the residents of Toronto,” said Tory.
Bailão has served the role of the city’s housing advocate for the past three years and “has been relentless in her efforts to work with her colleagues and other orders of government to bring people together and address the urgent housing issues faced by Toronto residents,” stated a press release on Friday.
Some of the initiatives Bailão has championed include securing new funding from the federal and provincial governments to improve the housing conditions and lives of residents in Toronto Community Housing.
“Because the housing file is a key priority for me, Deputy Mayor Bailão will continue to serve as the City’s Housing Advocate,” Tory said.
Bailão says she is honoured to be appointed deputy mayor and thanked the mayor for the opportunity.
“I look forward to continuing my work with the mayor and my council colleagues as we take action on housing to deliver real and substantive results to create a fairer city for all Torontonians.”
Councillor Mihevc has previously been a strong voice at city council for poverty reduction, social justice, and newcomer issues.
He previously worked as the Toronto newcomer advocate to bring communities of all faiths together to welcome Syrian refugees to Toronto. Mihevc has also shown a resolute commitment to the student nutrition program and other services city residents depend on, stated the press release.
Mihevc is delighted to have been asked to lead the critically important work.
“I want to continue Pam McConnell’s legacy to work towards one common goal to build a Toronto where each and every person and community rises to their potential and where there is no hunger, poor housing or lack of employment opportunities,” Mihevc said.
McConnell served the people of Toronto for more than 35 years and died at the age of 71 in early July from a serious undisclosed illness.