Toronto city council has appointed Councillor Neethan Shan as the city’s Newcomer Advocate.
Shan was elected councillor of the Ward 42 Scarborough-Rouge River riding in February’s byelection, just over a year after being elected as a Toronto District School Board trustee. Following the byelection, Shan was also appointed as the city’s Youth Advocate.
The councillor will now be the representative for many thousands of newcomers from around the world who make Toronto their home each year.
“I am pleased to be in a position where I can promote inclusion and advocate for settlement and integration supports that are responsive to their needs,” Shan said in a written statement on Monday.
Shan briefly touched upon a commitment to ensure that immigrant and refugee communities have the same access to city services as they are currently offered to all Torontonians.
He said he plans to “advocate on their behalf with other levels of government to ensure their inclusion, integration and active participation in our city, province and in the country.”
Shan has two decades worth of previous experience and knowledge from working with newcomers, including as a youth worker, teacher, refugee and immigration policy advocate and anti-racist educator.
The city’s Newcomer Advocate role was previously held by Councillor Joe Mihevc, who has stepped down to pursue his role as Poverty Reduction Advocate.