On October 24, 2022, the people of Toronto went to the polls to elect a new city council. One of the new faces to join the council is Pakistani Canadian Ausma Malik, 38, representing Ward 10, Spadina-Fort York.
She is the first hijab-wearing Muslim woman elected to Toronto City Council.
Councillor Ausma Malik first made history when she was when she was elected as a Toronto District School Board Trustee for Ward 10-Trinity-Spadina, becoming the first hijab-wearing Muslim woman to be elected to public office in Canada.
In her interview with CP24 Malik stated, “What I’m so excited about is the next generation and the new generation of leaders, of activists in our community that will see a role for themselves in political leadership in our city that is about serving all of us and making our city more equal, more livable, more affordable, and most of all, being a climate leader.”
The human rights and social justice activist graduated from the University of Toronto and has a background in policy, communications and community organizing.
Before embarking on her campaign for councillor, Malik worked as the Director of Advocacy and Organizing for the Atkinson Foundation, a non-profit organization that promotes social and economic justice in Ontario. Malik took an unpaid leave of absence back in July to focus on her campaign.
Malik said one of her top priorities as councillor will be to tackle housing affordability, by working to get more rental and non-profit housing built and stronger rent control.
Other key items laid out in her platform include advocating for more affordable and accessible, high-quality transit, more public park space and safer neighbourhoods and streets.
In her interview with CP24 she stated, ““It is absolutely unacceptable that people and families are pushed out of our city because of the soaring costs of housing and rent. And we need to bring the urgency and the leadership to the city council table to address that.”