City councillor Ana Bailao has been appointed the city’s deputy mayor for South Toronto.
Standing in front of the Dundas West mural on Sheridan Avenue at Dundas Street West, Mayor John Tory made the announcement on Friday, calling her one of the hardest working people in council.
“She’s advocated on many things but none more so effectively than on housing,” Tory explained.
“She’s also been talking about Toronto Community Housing with me and with the board that she serves on and with other governments. She’s been absolutely tireless in working to try and improve that situation.”
When Tory became mayor in 2014 he bucked tradition and appointed four deputy mayors in an effort to to ensure geographical representation in his inner circle.
Long-time city councillor Pam McConnell was appointed deputy mayor for Toronto and East York district – a position she held until her death in July.
Bailao was humble as she accepted her position and acknowledged that she had “big shoes to fill.”
“I’m humbled by the nomination but I really know that I have big shoes to fill. I really want to take this opportunity to once again recognize the work that my dear collogue and friend Pam McConnell has done for Torontonians, for her residents in her ward but also what she taught so many of us,” she said.
“I know that today she would have looked at me and she would have said ‘proud of you sister’. That’s exactly what she would have said.”
Bailao came to Canada from Portugal at the age of 15 and moved into the neighbourhood she now represents.
She was first elected to city council in 2010 and sits on several board and agencies including the Executive Committee and the Affordable Housing Committee.
Tory also announced that Coun. Joe Mihevc would become the city’s new poverty reduction advocate – a position also previously held by McConnell.