Michael Thompson is Chair of Toronto’s Economic Development and Culture Committee, Chair of Invest Toronto, a member of the Executive Committee and the Employee and Labour Relations Committee, a board member of Build Toronto and the City Councillor representing Ward 37, Scarborough Centre.
Now in his fourth term as City Councillor, Michael has earned a reputation as one of Toronto’s hardest working political leaders.
Michael’s commitment to economic development is longstanding. In his first term in office, he spearheaded the creation of the Wexford Heights Business Improvement Area and established a Job Fair that annually brings thousands of job seekers together with dozens of employers. He maintains a widespread network of business relationships that has helped to enhance business retention, promote growth and increase private sector employment. His active engagement with business has helped speed the launch of new business ventures, resolved business/residential conflicts and gained business participation in a wide range of community-building initiatives. In 2010, thanks to his persistent salesmanship, the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), the world’s largest student run professional association, held its annual conference in Toronto, bringing more than 10,000 young engineers (and millions of dollars) to the city.
A believer in the critical value of culture as a builder of strong communities, Michael co-founded the Taste of Lawrence Avenue East Festival, which brings together tens of thousands of people each year to experience local performing arts and cuisine. He also created the “Scarborough Rocks” community image building campaign, which emphasizes Scarborough’s unique cultural blend.
Michael has been equally active on behalf of Toronto’s youth. In 2006, He brought together businesses, schools, 41 Division Police and the Future Aces program to create Ontario’s first Positive Ticketing program for youth. The program rewards good behaviour with valuable tickets and coupons. He also successfully spearheaded the creation of new recreation facilities in his Ward (including a state-of-the-art skateboard park), and introduced floor tennis to schools in key neighbourhoods city-wide. In conjunction with Project Engagement, an initiative he co-founded in 2006, he continues to promote the development of young leaders from a wide range of cultural and economic backgrounds.
Michael received his public school education in Scarborough, and his BA from Concordia University in Montreal. Prior to entering politics, Mr. Thompson earned his business credentials as an entrepreneur in the business and financial services sector. He is the recipient of the African Achievement Award for Excellence in Politics, the York University International Award, the Jain Society of Toronto Community Award, and the Bob Marley Award. He continues to work with a number of charitable organizations including participation in the LIUNA Local 506 scholarship fund. He is a hockey and basketball dad who enjoys a range of activities that includes hockey, soccer, basketball and all things sports.