Immigrants get involved in municipal elections
Friday, September 28, 2018


Gautam Nath runs for mayor of Toronto, and other Canadian immigrants seek seats in the upcoming municipal elections
You may have had a knock at your door recently by a candidate for city councillor or school trustee or even mayor! These local politicians are looking for your vote in the upcoming municipal elections this fall in Vancouver, Toronto, Manitoba, P.E.I., and other parts of Canada.

If you’re a new citizen, are you going to vote?

It’s your right to vote, but did you know there tends to be a low turnout for city or municipal elections in Canada? Canadians tend to be less interested in municipal politics than they are in federal or provincial politics, yet municipal policies can have a large impact on your wellbeing, according to the Canadian Index of Wellbeing.

Decisions made at the municipal level can impact your day-to-day life even more than decisions at the provincial and federal level. Issues such as schools, community, recreation, jobs, culture and transportation are all affected by the decisionmakers at your local city hall.

Although permanent residents can’t vote, voting in all elections is a right and responsibility of Canadian citizens. So, if you are a new citizen, don’t delay in voting in your first election.

Getting involved in municipal elections
As a citizen, you could even consider getting more involved in Canada’s democratic process, like several Canadian immigrants who have decided to run for a seat in the municipal elections this year.

Notably, Gautam Nath, a well-known voice and volunteer in Toronto’s immigrant community, and a past RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrant (2011), has launched a campaign for mayor of Canada’s biggest city.

“For the last 10 years, I have been volunteering in giving back and helping Torontonians go the extra mile, and this was reflected in being recognized by the Top 25 award in 2011. That motivated me to give more and led to my receiving the June Callwood Outstanding Achievement Award for Voluntarism in 2017 and, more recently, the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers,” says Nath.

“These milestones made me realize that my passion lies in making Canada and specifically Toronto a better place. So that led me to put in a stake for the top slot, the slot of CEO of Toronto.”

Nath comes from a corporate background, and his vision is to bring that business mindset to how the City of Toronto is run. “I have a 10 point action plan that focuses on building sustainability for Toronto, not just enabling vibrancy for today but for the next generation,” he says. “These action points bring economic vibrancy and takes our city to the next level, holding our own among the best in the world.”

Source: The Canadian Immigrant. Read full article