Neethan Shan, well known in political circles in Toronto’s Caribbean community, won Monday’s byelection for city councillor in Scarborough- Rouge River Shan who came to Canada from Sri Lanka as a refugee, is a former teacher and school board trustee.
He had the backing of the NDP and will be the first Tamil-Canadian to serve on Toronto city council.
He won 4,763 votes Anong the also-rans in a crowded field of 29 candidates were three from the Caribbean Community – Jamaica-born Bev Dixon, a retired social worker, Kevin Clarke, a community activist and interim leader of the People’s Political Party, who was also born in Jamaica, and Knia Singh, an articling lawyer and human rights activist who was born in Toronto to Bermudian and Guyanese parents.
Dixon won 354 votes. Singh received 324 and Clarke, 25.
About 90 per cent of the residents of Scarborough- Rouge River (Ward 42) are visible minorities.
The byelection was held to fill the vacancy left by Raymond Cho’s departure to Queen’s Park.
A city councillor for 25 years, Cho successfully contested the provincial riding of Scarborough -Rouge River as a Progressive Conservative candidate.