First time candidate runs in competitive Don Valley West race
Local resident, volunteer and interpreter hopes for electoral success
(Written for Town Crier Aug. 20.)
Thorncliffe resident Tanvir Ahmed said it’s his desire to work for the community that prompted him to run in Don Valley West’s Ward 26.
He’s a volunteer with the Thorncliffe PS Council, a soccer coach at the school and has helped plan local family events for the local elementary school.
“It is very important for me to be involved, for the children to be involved and everyone else to be involved,” he said. “There are so many issues that need our involvement in the community. Otherwise we can’t solve those issues: unemployment, overcrowding.”
Before moving to Canada in 1999, Ahmed worked in legal services for the National Development Finance Corporation in Pakistan for 11 years.He is a certified language interpreter for the Immigration and Refugee Board in Toronto and works in the same capacity at the provincial courts.
A local issue he’d like to address in this election is overcrowding in residential buildings and schools in Thorncliffe and Flemingdon, Ahmed said adding council needs to ensure people in those communities have basic services.
He’s also focused on barriers facing newcomers to Canada.
“In Flemingdon and Thorncliffe the most important issue for newcomers is to get a job in their own profession,” Ahmed said, acknowledging councillors have limited jurisdiction over this issue.
Ahmed is running in one of the most heated races in the city where incumbent Councillor John Parker is facing off against the runner-up in the 2006 election, Mohamed Dhanani.
“I will try to tell people living in the area what I have been doing and what I wish to do,” he said. “If they like my vision, my agenda, definitely they will vote for me.
“It’s up to the voters whom they consider the best choice.”
He is holding meet-and-greets to get his message out. He also has a website.
As of Aug. 23, there were eight registered candidates: Tanvir Ahmed, Jon Burnside, Mohamed Dhanani, Salim Naweb Khan, Shaukat Malik, Yunus Pandor, John Parker and Sagu Vinothachandran.