Campaigning for a political position in a major city like Toronto and the nearby York Region is no easy task. Winning the election is all that much harder due to the sheer amount of competition and opposition that candidates face every four years.
Three individuals of Tamil background saw their hard work and dedication to civil service pay off, as they were elected for their respective positions by voters, at the Municipal Elections held on Monday, October 27, 2014 in Ontario (Canada).
Parthi Kandavel, Toronto District School Board Trustee, Ward 35/36 (Scarborough Southwest)
“Parthi has lived, learned and worked in the Kennedy and St. Clair area of Scarborough Southwest for more than 25 years. He understands the triumphs, realities, and challenges of the ward. Parthi and his wife, Anu, are homeowners and appreciate the value of our hard earned tax dollars.
As Chair of the Corvette Residents Association, Parthi successfully led the representation at City Hall and the OMB for the closure of a local bar’s illegal patio.
Hailing from three generations of teachers, Parthi understands the value of a strong education. Parthi’s father was a high school calculus and chemistry teacher in the TDSB, and his wife (Anu) teaches at McMaster University.
Parthi holds a Masters degree in Education and taught at two schools in the ward, John A. Leslie Public School and Regent Heights Public School.
Parthi is active in the local community as a tutor, playwright, director and a Big Brother in YAY.”
Juanita Nathan, York Region School Board Trustee, Ward 7/8
“My family and I arrived in Canada in 1989; I was teenager at the time. We fled a war torn Sri Lanka in search of a brighter future. My parent’s decision to migrate to Canada was a turning point in our lives; one that has made a significant impact on the path my life has taken.
My parents were focused on ensuring my brothers and I got the right education and the right opportunities. I was fortunate to have been able to pursue post-secondary education, receiving a BA in psychology from Brock University. Over the years I have worked in the social services sector in various roles as an addictions counselor, domestic abuse counselor, senior support worker, and as a community youth worker.
These experiences, especially working as a youth worker, have given me the opportunity to give back to communities in a meaningful way. Growing up in a family that highly values education it has always been my belief that education needs to be at the top of the agenda in every community, in every school and in every family.
Our students need to be put first. Their aspirations and needs are a priority for everyone in the community. Their success underpins the success of our community. Schools in Ward 7 and 8 are in great shape. We have wonderful teachers, admin staff and great support workers.
However, we do need to ensure that there is meaningful engagement between parents, students, and schools. Trustee’s have an important role to play in this regard, one that sometimes is taken for granted.
In deciding to run as a school trustee, I am committing myself to the people of Ward 7 and 8.
I commit to ensuring that the job of school trustee is not merely a symbolic one that stops at attending board meetings. I commit that I will not treat my job as a school trustee as merely a part-time one. I commit to ensuring that the voices of our students and the voices of our parents are heard.
I pledge to meet more students, parents, teachers than ever before. This is important to me because grassroots involvement by a trustee is the difference we need, to take public education in our community to the next level.
In the busy and complex times we live in trustees need to bridge the gap between schools and families.
I’m committed to do just that! I look forward to seeing you at the doors, hearing your concerns about the future of our education system, and working hard to earn your trust to serve as your school board trustee for Ward 7 and 8 for another 4 years.”
Logan Kanapathi, York Region Councillor, Ward 7
“Councillor Kanapathi made headlines in November 2006 when he was the first Canadian Tamil to be elected to political office. As quoted by Toronto Star, he was “a new face for a new era.” As a proud Canadian, he has continued to work hard to give back to the community.
Since being elected, Councillor Kanapathi has been a strong advocate for increased open spaces for families and children. During his term in office he has opened several parks and a state of the art cricket sports field in his own Ward 7. He also championed a $72 Million flag ship community centre, the South East Community Centre & Library and a number of community parks that are under design and construction for Ward 7. He serves on more than twenty five committees with the City of Markham, including the Budget Sub-Committee, Environmental Issues Committee, Green Print Steering Committee, Traffic Safety Committee to name a few. Beyond his commitments to Markham Council, he is also an Advisory Board Member of several Community organizations such as the South Asian Autism Awareness Centre and Cherish Integrated Services.
Councillor Kanapathi has also worked tirelessly to promote sustainability not only in Ward 7 but the surrounding community through his long term activity in the Rouge Park Alliance Implementation Committee – stewards in creating the Rouge Park, the largest urban National park in Canada. Under his leadership Markham has integrated diversity, economic efficiency and community engagement into Council’s primary discourse, The Markham’s Sustainability Green Print. His immense grassroots support and involvement in the community has been clearly demonstrated throughout his time on Council….”Read more>>
You can view the complete election results here:
Note: Corrections have been made to this post.