James Pasternak was elected to City Council in 2010. He comes to City Council as the representative for Ward 10 after serving on the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) since 2006. Councillor Pasternak has deep roots in Ward 10 having lived here with his family for 22 years.
Former TDSB Director Gerry Connelly described James Pasternak’s role at Canada’s largest school board as “transformative.” His work contributed to TDSB pools being kept open, more robust after-school programs, and building corporate partnerships. His advocacy resulted in a new football team at a local high school and new musical instruments and partnerships for schools in priority neighbourhoods. While accompanying a school visit to the Ontario Legislature representatives from all three political parties rose to praise school initiatives that James Pasternak supported and advanced.
At the TDSB, James Chaired the Audit and Special Education Advisory committees and played a leadership role in advancing alternative schools. As a trustee, James Pasternak voted in favour of balanced budgets while being a tireless advocate for children and adults with special needs. He also fought for creating the position of Parent Advocate, Special Education for parents with special needs children. This pioneering initiative received widespread support across the province as parents seek supports and counsel in identifying the best programs for their sons and daughters.
James Pasternak was elected by his fellow trustees to serve with former Toronto Mayor David Crombie as a representative on the board of the Toronto Lands Corporation (TLC). As a director of the TLC, James was part of a team that helped bring fiscal responsibility to the Toronto District School Board. James Pasternak worked with a group of agencies to bring a soon-to-be-built two-story 15,000 square foot $9 million hub and community centre to the campus of Northview Heights Secondary School at Bathurst Street and Finch Avenue.
Councillor Pasternak has earned degrees from the London School of Economics and Political Science, the University of Western Ontario and York University. He is a graduate of Toronto’s Leaside High School.