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Mayor Olivia Chow unveils key committee appointments at Toronto City Hall


Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow has unveiled her team at City Hall, elevating some newcomers, while drawing on the experience of some more seasoned councillors.

“In making decisions I’ve made efforts to match Councillors’ particular skills, depth of knowledge, the community they represent and their lived experience with their new role as either a committee chair, vice chair, member, issue champion or Deputy Mayor,” Chow said in the letter to her council colleagues.

“I’m proud of this new Toronto Team. A team that reflects the city it serves. One team deeply, and single-mindedly focused on the people’s priorities and building a city that is more affordable, safe, and caring – where everyone belongs. I look forward to all that we can accomplish together in the years ahead.”

Last month Chow replaced Jennifer McKelvie and Frances Nunziata as chair and vice-chair of the striking committee, subbing in left-leaning rookie councillors Ausma Malik and Alejandra Bravo.

Her new appointments were unveiled when the committee met Thursday morning.

They include Malik and Amber Morley, another new face on council, as deputy mayors alongside more experienced councillors McKelvie and Mike Colle. All four will sit on Chow’s Executive Committee.

Coun. Gord Perks, who supported Chow’s bid for office, will become chair of the Planning and Housing Committee, while her mayoral rival Coun. Brad Bradford will be vice-chair.

Coun. Jamaal Myers, another rookie, will become chair of the TTC. Josh Matlow, another mayoral rival of Chow’s, was not formally assigned a role, but she said that he will “be bringing his depth of knowledge, innovative ideas and passion for this city” to improving public transit as well.

In a tweet, Matlow said he is “very grateful to Mayor @oliviachow for the opportunities she’s providing me to make meaningful contributions to improving our city, and to work closely with her, and our colleagues, to serve the residents of Toronto.”

Coun. Jon Burnside, a former police officer, will join the Toronto Police Services Board alongside councillors Amber Morley and Lily Cheng.

Two of council’s most experienced members will hold key positions. Coun. Frances Nunziata will stay on as speaker, while Coun. Paula Fletcher will become deputy speaker.

Meanwhile Coun. Shelley Carroll, who has deep experience with the city’s finances, will become chair of the Budget Committee, a role she has held in the past.

“I seem to be the person you call on whenever our finances are as tight as they possibly can be,” she told Newstalk 1010. “We are in a pretty tight spot right now.”

Chow provided her reasoning for each post in her letter listing all the positions assigned.

She is expected to speak about the appointments at a news conference at 1 p.m. ahead of a special meeting of council.

- With files from Codi Wilson Top Stories

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