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Ontario government announces appointment of first Advocate for Community Opportunities

“The Office of the Premier announced that Jamil Jivani, a lawyer, community organizer and author of Why Young Men: Rage, Race and the Crisis of Identity, has been appointed as the province’s first Advocate for Community Opportunities. Jivani’s mandate is to work with ministries across government to “foster strong, local partnerships with communities across the province.” ONN is pleased to see someone with such strong roots in community work and the nonprofit sector appointed to build bridges between communities and government.”

News Release

Giving Ontario Communities a Greater Voice in Government Decision Making

Office of the Premier

TORONTO — The Government of Ontario has appointed Jamil Jivani, author, educator and community organizer, as the province’s first Advocate for Community Opportunities. In this role, and as a Special Advisor to the Premier, Mr. Jivani will open lines of communications between communities and the government to empower community members and enable them to increase their participation in government decision making.

“We are appointing Jamil Jivani as Ontario’s Advocate for Community Opportunities in order to engage people from all walks of life and help us tackle some serious problems,” said Premier Ford. “Jamil has an impressive track record of building better communities and empowering young people to reach their full potential. Our government looks forward to working with him to deliver on our Plan to Build Ontario Together and foster strong, local partnerships with communities across the province.”

Included in Mr. Jivani’s mandate is increasing community safety by combating issues such as guns and gangs, human trafficking and racism, and making real and tangible progress to improve outcomes in areas such as: education, community services, income support, and access to housing. This work will help to inform the design or redesign of programs and services and identify actions the government can take to improve people’s lives.

Mr. Jivani will be working with ministries across government to ensure a comprehensive approach, but his mandate will require a specific collaboration with the ministers of Children, Community and Social Services, Education, Colleges and Universities, Labour, Municipal Affairs and Housing, Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Indigenous Affairs and the Solicitor General.

“My career has been outside of government, working with and learning from families who struggle to have their voices heard. As the first-ever Advocate for Community Opportunities, I can now bring these voices directly to government officials who make decisions affecting all of our lives. I thank Premier Ford for his commitment to creating opportunities for urban and rural communities across our province.”

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