Neethan Shan is Now a City Councillor, But Will He Stay Put?




Neethan Shan is Now a City Councillor, But Will He Stay Put?

Run, Neethan, run.


Neethan Shan. Photo courtesy of Neethan Shan.

Neethan Shan is Toronto’s newest councillor for Ward 42, Scarborough-Rouge River, who handily won last night’s by-election.

With his win, Shan becomes the first Tamil Canadian on Toronto City Council, after the seat was vacated by Raymond Cho.

This was Shan’s 11th election in 14 years.

2003 – Shan ran unsuccessfully for York Region District School board in Markham.

2006 – Shan won his first seat as a school board trustee in Markham, making him the first Tamil elected to public office in Canada.

2007 – Shan took a leave of absence from the Markham school board to run for the NDP in the provincial election in Scarborough-Guildwood. He lost and returned to the school board.

2010 – Shan took a run at City Council against Scarborough-Rouge River incumbent councillor, Raymond Cho, who represented the area since 1991. Shan lost to Cho.

2011 – Shan again took a shot at a provincial seat, representing the Ontario NDP in the riding of Scarborough-Rouge River. He placed second to incumbent Liberal MPP Bas Balkissoon.

2012 – Shan was elected as president of the Ontario NDP at the convention in Hamilton.

2014 – Shan ran in back-to-back elections. In June, he ran and lost in the provincial election in Scarborough-Rouge River against Cho and Balkissoon, who held onto his seat. In November, Shan challenged Cho for his City Council seat, and lost again.

2016 – Shan’s fortunes changed, when he ran and won in the Toronto District School Board byelection for Scarborough-Rouge River in January. Less than four months later, Shan announced his plans to run representing the NDP for MPP race of Scarborough-Rouge River — a seat that became vacant when Liberal Bas Balkissoon’s sudden resignation from provincial politics.