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Here, you can catch up with the latest news of Joe's actions in the community or look back to what he has done since
taking office in December 2010. Feel free to browse the articles provided!





September 2017

York region.News

Joe Li seeks Markham-Unionville nomination for Ontario PC Party

NEWS Sep 13, 2017 by Ali Raza  Markham Economist & Sun

Markham regional Coun. Joe Li will seek the Markham-Unionville nomination.

 Li made the announcement on Sept. 12 in a press release, but will make his official announcement on Sept. 13 at a lunch reception.

After seven years as Markham regional councillor with the Regional Municipality of York, Li is now seeking to grab the nomination for the Markham-Unionville riding for the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party.

According to his press release, Li has much experience having saved taxpayers’ dollars, introducing transparency policies, introducing sustainable waste management technologies in Markham, bringing together community groups and forging international partnerships between Markham and municipalities in Sweden, India and China.

Li will make his official announcement at a lunch reception on Sept. 13 at Golden Palace Banquet Hall at 11 a.m. The hall is on First Markham Place, 3225 Hwy. 7 East in Markham.

September 2017




July 2017

DESI News Special Edition of Canada 150.

Regional Councillor Joe Li, "Indian by Birth, Chinese by descent, Canadian by choice".



 May 2017

Canada Diversity Celebration

Snap Markham-  "Canada’s Diversity Celebration Team held its 6th annual Indian-Chinese Bollywood singing event at Flato Markham Theatre. Chair Regional Councillor Joe Li hosted this cultural event in collaboration with Co-Chair Amar Erry- President of ASM- Vedic Cultural Centre, and Joe Samion- President of Yin Hua Association of Ontario. This Indo-Chinese Bollywood singing event provided a platform to unite many local artists, bring the Indian and Chinese communities together and celebrate unity and diversity. The program featured a mix of 18 talented Indian and Chinese amateur singers who sang a variety of popular and classic hits in Hindi, Chinese, and English. Over 527 people attended including representatives from both Chinese and Indian Consulate Generals' Offices."

May 2017    
March 2017         

 The Weekly Asian Connection newspaper:

The Asian Connections Newspaper / Featured / Regional Councillor Joe Li with India’s Honourable Chief Minister of West Bengal Smt Mamata Banerjee &Canadian Trade Commissioner Arjun Kumar Dutta




March 2017

Generation Next Newspaper

RC Joe Li represents Markham at 2017 Bengal Global Business Summit.

March 2017 

York region.com: Markham Economist & Sun- By Tim Kelly 

Markham Economist & Sun

Regional Councillor Joe Li, a native of India, was on hand at the inauguration of the 2017 Bengal Global Business Summit, India, meeting with India's Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee, as well as Canadian Trade Commissioner Arjun Kumar Dutta.

Through a 2016 Markham trade mission to India, West Bengal's RAD 365, an IT service provider that delivers software solutions, teleradiology, knowledge processing and data analytics solutions to the health care industry, established an office in Markham.

RAD 365 is located in Bidhannagar's high-tech district outside Kolkata, West Bengal, India.


February 2017





February 2017


York Region.com

Dont finger point at Chinese on foreign buyerès tax: Markham Councillor:

Regional Councillor Joe Li said he didn't want to deal with a problem that reflected just 5 per cent of the market, citing statistics reflected in a recent Toronto Real Estate Board report that said just 4.9 per cent of GTA homes are purchased by foreign buyers.

More importantly Li said, he didn't want to fingerpoint at one community.

"In general, people know who you're talking about. It must be the Chinese. I don't want that kind of impression."




February 2017

  加拿大湖北商会2017喜迎新春年会于10曰(星期五)上午在万锦锦市政厅Council Chamber举行。参加的嘉宾包括有联邦参议员胡子修、万锦区域议员Nirmala Armstrong和Joe Li,万锦市议员Alan Ho和杨绮清,以及列治文上市议员陈志辉,及多个商会与华商代表。 - See more at: http://www.easyca.ca/bencandy.php?fid=225&aid=69639#sthash.YRMg596J.dpuf




January 2017


2017-01-30 CCTVmedium 






November 2016

York Region News - Queen's Park introduces bill to make regional chairs elected- http://m.yorkregion.com/news-story/6970337-queen-s-park-introduces-bill-to-make-regional-chairs-elected-Wayne

Meanwhile, regional councillors have repeatedly said they have no appetite for making the regional chair an elected position.           

While most mayors and councillors have said the current system is working well, some councillors have complained about the method of selecting the chair.
For example, Markham Councillor Joe Li has said the regional chair should be accountable to the region’s 1.1 million residents, not just 20 mayors and regional councillors.
Under the current system, candidates for the job have to curry favour with mayors and councillors behind the scenes to get their votes, he said last November.
“In order for the chairman to get his position, he has to make deals,” Li said, saying he was given a coveted position as vice-chair of the region’s planning and economic development committee, an important title on trade missions.
Ballard praised regional and local councillors and residents who fought for an elected chair, which he said accomplished “something very special in our province”.  

April 2016

Canada Diversity 2016 

Markham Review Newspaper

website at www.markhamreview.com

April 2016 

  Canada Diversity 2016- Weekly Voice

March 2016

Canada Diversity Celebration- March 26 2016-Canada’s Diversity Celebration Team held their 5th annual Indian-Chinese Bollywood singing event at Flato Markham Theatre. Regional Councillor Joe Li organized this cultural event in collaboration with Mr. Amar Erry- President of Vedic Cultural Centre, and Mr. Joe Samion- President of Yin Hua Association of Ontario.

This Indo-Chinese Bollywood singing event provides a platform to unite many local artists, brings the two communities together, and celebrates unity and diversity in our City of Markham. The event featured a mix of 17 talented amateur singers who sang a variety of popular and classic hits in Hindi and Chinese.

 February 2016

ICBC - Indo-Canadian Business Chamber

Markham Business Delegation Reception- ICBC invites members and guests to the joint business reception hosted by Deloitte, Indian Chambers of Commerce and Indo Canadian Business Chamber for the delegates from The City of Markham, Ontario, Canada on Monday, 8th February, 2016 at Bengal Club.    

City of Markham and the City of Kolkata are linked through the cultural and business connections that have been developed by the Hakka Chinese community in respective cities. Born in Kolkata, Markham Regional Councilor Joe Li is an example of the many successful members of the Hakka community with strong ties in both cities. Mayor Frank Scarpitti is leading his third official business delegation to India since 2012. Markham’s 2016 business mission will include their first visit to Kolkata. The City of Markham is visiting Kolkata to leverage existing business and community relationships, explore new business opportunities, and encourage investment and trade between respective jurisdictions with focus on Information and Communications Technology, Healthcare/Life Sciences, Financial Services, Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services. Link: http://icbc.org.in/ai1ec_event/markham-business-delegation-reception/?instance_id


Febraury 2016

Bengali newspaper covering the City of Markham-India Trade Mission in Kolkata India

February 2016

Will the Dragon Dance Again?

Kolkata's Chinatown, the oldest in India, has been in decline for decades. An ambitious revival project now aims to alter the community's future.

November 2015 

"This Thursday, York Region Council will be voting on a motion tabled by Markham regional councillor Joe Li. Li is asking the council to endorse Newmarket-Aurora MP Chris Ballard’s private members bill calling for the chair of York Region Council to be elected by the public. Currently, only the mayors and regional councillors decide and vote on this appointment.

Arguably, the Chair is the most powerful political position in York Region government.

York Region Taxpayers Coalition supports MP Chris Ballard’s bill but we felt it didn’t go far enough in addressing genuine taxpayer issues. We’ve written our views on this bill in previous posts. See: http://www.yorktaxpayer.ca/issues/toronto-voted-on-it-why-electoral-reform-is-important-in-york-region-too/ and http://www.yorktaxpayer.ca/issues/resistance-to-democratic-reform-in-york-region/

Below is a submission we’ve made for Thursday’s council meeting on behalf of you, our members, on Regional Councillor Li’s motion:" ....



November 2015

"Markham votes yes to voting in York's regional chair"

A majority of Markham councillors have voted in favour of electing the York Region chairperson.

A motion, put forward by ward councillor Karen Rea, puts the city’s support squarely behind Bill 42 and calls on the province to get the ball moving in time for the 2018 municipal election.

The motion passed 9-4 in a recorded vote.

Councillors Alan Ho, Don Hamilton, Karen Rea, Colin Campbell, Logan Kanapathi and Alex Chiu along with Regional Councillors Jim Jones, Joe Li and Nirmala Armstrong voted in favour.

Mayor Frank Scarpitti, Regional Councillor Jack Heath and Thornhill Councillor Valerie Burke voted against the motion.

Councillor Amanda Collucci abstained, which under the Municipal Act counts as a vote against.

Rea’s motion goes hand-in-hand with Li’s motion at the regional level, to be debated Nov. 19.

In order to change the makeup of regional council, a triple majority is required. That means, a majority of regional council, a majority of municipalities and of those municipalities, they must represent a majority of York Region residents.

Markham as a whole represents about a third of York Region’s population.

“How can we spend billions of dollars to promote the democratic system in the Middle East but still practice hypocrisy in our backyard,” Li said. “We have to lead by example.”

There is growing support in the region, with motions coming before Whitchurch-Stouffville, Aurora and Richmond Hill local councils, he added.

During a debate on Rea’s motion, the current system of appointing the regional chairperson was referred to as a small circle of voters where back-door trading takes place.

“We hear a lot of ‘You support me on this and I support you on that’ type of deals,” said Robert Mok, representing the Markham Citizens Coalition for Responsive Government.

“This is just a way for mayors and councillors to push their own agendas. We need to eliminate the horse trading.”

Others disagreed.

“More elections doesn’t improve democracy,” said resident León Brumer.

It was suggested electing a chairperson opens up a Pandora’s box when it comes to campaign support, which could come from special interest groups and developers.

Regional Councillor and deputy mayor Jack Heath agreed. Having a regional chairperson backed by heavy development could pose a problem since the region does not deal with issues such as parks or greenspace.

But local mayors are also supported by development, argued Regional Councillor Nirmala Armstrong.

There has been movement to eliminate local powers over items such as planning, waste management, fire services and water and wastewater, Heath argued.

“Government should be close to the people,” he said. “We don’t want these services to disappear. There would be a power shift from Markham to the region.”

But other councillors argued power already sits in the hands of the chairperson, so the position should be made accountable.

“The chairperson is a nobody before regional council appoints him,” said Regional Councillor Jim Jones. “Then he becomes the most powerful politician. If he’s elected, he can’t kowtow to any member of (regional) council.”

York Region link: http://www.yorkregion.com/news-story/6115041-markham-votes-yes-to-voting-in-york-s-regional-chair/


November 2015

View from Queen's Park: Time to elect the Chair of York Region.

"I am pleased that Markham Regional Councillor Joe Li has asked Regional Council to support my private member’s bill. His motion, tentatively scheduled to be debated November 19, was seconded by Whitchurch-Stouffville Mayor, Justin Altman."-Chris Ballard, MPP

The Aurorian



November 2015

 Some York Region councillors pushing to have elected chair.

"In a region of 1.1 million residents, it only takes 11 people to select York’s most powerful political leader.

Markham Regional Councillor Joe Li and Whitchurch-Stouffville Mayor Justin Altmann want to change that.On Nov. 19, Li will bring in a motion, seconded by Altmann, asking councillors to make the regional chair an elected position."

Yor Region News



November 2015

 Motion for an elected Regional Chair by Regional Coucnillor Joe Li Whitchurch-Stouffville Mayor Justin Altmann.



October 2015

Regional Councillor Joe Li supporting Toronto Indian Cultural Association to present Bollywood Singer Sadhana Sargam in a spectacular community event for youths, local, and international artists.  


August 2015

"Elected Regional Chair idea makes a comeback."

In the fall of 2015, this Motion will be submitted to the Regional Municipality of York by Regional Councillor Joe Li.

The Liberal Newspaper: 






August 2015

"Motion to make York Region chair elected coming this fall

Frustrated with backroom wheeling and dealing in advance of the appointment of York Region’s chairperson, Markham Councillor Joe Li wants to make the job an elected position.

He will bring in a motion this fall asking regional council to advise the province it wants the chairperson’s job to be elected in time for the next term of council following the 2018 municipal elections. 

“I’m working on that. When I was campaigning for re-election (last year), a lot of people asked me why the regional chair is not elected, so I made a pledge if re-elected, I will make sure it’s going to happen,” said Li, adding Whitchurch-Stouffville Mayor Justin Altmann has indicated he will second the motion.

York Region News



June 2015

Regional Councillor Joe Li's Nepal Earthquake Fundraiser Event




December 2014

Official Inaugural Meeting for Markham's 2014-2018 Council- SNAPD MARKHAM- https://markham.snapd.com/index.php

Regional Councillor Joe Li & inaugural Council Meeting of the 2014-2018 elected members of Council of the City of Markham The occasion also marked the 220th anniversary of the founding of Markham held at the Flato Markham Theatre and was followed by a reception in the Markham Civic Centre Great Hall.

Photos by Darrell Hein


October 2014

Joe Li relected Markham Regional Councillor for another 4 year term. Election night victory party celebration with volunteers and supporters.

September 2014

Regional Councillor Joe Li, a founding member, supports the Lions Walk/Run for Happiness. This event helps bring awareness for  Mental Health and the proceeds go to the Canadian Mental Health Association, Markham Stouffville Hospital, and Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences. All for a great cause.

September 2014 Ward 5 All Candidiates Meeting at Black Walnut Public School.  An opportunity for all the candidates in the Municpal Elections to introduce themselves to the residents of Cornell, inform them of your platform, and a great way to connect with the Cornell community. Regional Councillor celebrated his birthday and campiagn fundraiser all on this day

September 2014



Toronto Indian Youth Proudly presented Fame Bollywood singer Babul Supriyo in a live musical show with Kutty Lead Keyboardist, Zee TV & Indian Idol Star Swagata Nag, Rishabh Dhar Exponent, Jone Shakka innovative dancer & musician, vocalist Bijoy Chakravorty, AlejandraGarcia Flamenco dancer, Finger prints Preformers, and fusion dances by Puja Amin of Sanskriti arts. Our own local children shared the stage with these great artists 


August 2014

Regional Councillor Joe Li Campaign Office- Grand Opening celebrations

Office is located at 7750 Kennedy Road , Unit 6 in Markham.

 August 2014



The Republic of Trinadad & Tobago Flag Raising Ceremony


 July 2014

Promoting Friendship between the City of Zhangjiagang & City of Markham

Markham Regional Councillor welcomed the Vice Mayor Huang Xueyuan and the business delegation from Zhangjiagang, China. 


July 2014

Naming Ceremony of Lesley Price Woodlot At Milne Dam Conservation Park.

July 2014


Sudha Om Dhingra, Dhingra Family Foundation hosted their inaugural Hindi Chetna-Dhingra Family Foundation International Literacy Awards Ceremony.


July 2014


Joe Li Fundraiser Dinner

A night of great enterainment and with deep appreciation from Joe and his Team to everyone who came out to support


July 2014

Joe Li Fundraiser Event at Markham Event Centre

June 2014

Yin Hua BBQ

June 2014

25th Anniversary of Ecole Catholique Sainte-Marguerite Bourgeoys (Markham).

A special milestone for this French community in Markham.


May 2014



Regional Councillor Recieved the Outstanding Achievement Award for his community service.

May 2014

Regional Councillor Joe Li thanking the many local Artists who participated in another successful Indian-Chinese Bollywood singing extravaganza.  He provided a great platform to unite both the Indian & Chinese community and creating a stronger bond  in the most diverse City in Canada.

April 2014



Congratulations to Regional Councillor Joe Li for another successful Indian-Chinese Bollywood singing extravaganza. He worked with 30 local artists and many volunteers over the past several months.
He worked jointly with Mr. Amar Erry from Vedic Cultural Centre, and Johnny Chung from Yin Hua Association of Ontario to celebrate rich cultures of Indian & Chinese community and created a stronger bond between the two communities in most diverse City in Canada.

April 2014



ReelWorld Film Festival in Markham.


Gala Reception Gala at the Cornll Community Centre. 




November 2013




Markham Regional Councillor Joe Li was a Sponsor for the Lions Club International District A16 - 1st Annual Lions Walk/Run for Happiness. This event helped create awareness for Mental Health and funds raised went to three major beneficiaries Markham Stouffville Hospital, The Ontario Shores Foundation for Mental Health Sciences and the Canadian Mental Health Association- York Region.


 March 31, 2013



Joe hosted Canada’s Diversity Celebration: A Musical Evening Showcasing Our Rich Culture bringing communities together, celebrating Chinese-Indian cultural diversity, through singing and music. It is co-organized by Mr. Amar Erry of the Vedic Cultural Centre and Mr. Johnny Chung of the Yin Hua (Chinese from India) Association of Ontario.  

This year’s show featured a mix of over 20 talented amateur singers of Chinese and Indian backgrounds who sang a variety of popular and classic hits in Hindi and Chinese. Our Mayor Mr. Frank Scarpitti made a special guest appearance debuting his Cantonese and Mandarin singing accompanied by a violinist and an erhuist.

The evening was a great success. It was very well-received and well-attended with a full house of over 500 guests, over 20 local singers, VIPS, and dignitaries. Click Here to view photos.

November 2, 2012

"Markham's NHL dream takes a hit, courtesy of deputy mayor"

   Joe was quoted again, questioning the Arena deal

National Post

November 1, 2012

 " Markham's NHL-size arena project losing support"

   Joe was quoted as one of Markham's biggest opponents of public funding  for the Arena project

Toronto Star

October 5, 2012

“Markham’s power play: Will plans to build a 325 million arena boost or burden the city?”

   Joe questions why the rush to push through the arena project

Toronto Star




October 4, 2012

September 28, 2012

 “What the #!%*?: An NHL-ready arena for Markham?”

“Markham arena doesn’t depend on NHL team: developer”

   Joe rails against spending public tax dollars on the arena project

National Post




September 22, 2012

 York approved reduced transit fare hike”

   Joe voted against the YRT fare hike

Markham Economist & Sun




July 13, 2012

“Added holiday shopping on hold, Region waits for completion of Toronto Review”

   Joe is supportive of holiday shopping

Markham Economist & Sun




June 27, 2012

“Markham seeks growth pointers from Swedes”

  Joe to take part in a sustainability study tour to Sweden

Markham Economist & Sun




June 13, 2012

“Markham’s Milne eyed as part of Rouge”

  Joe voted in favour of Milne Dam as part of Rouge National Park

Markham Economist & Sun




June 13, 2012

“Markham Council split on filling vacancies”

  Joe pushes for Council to set Council vacancy policy

Markham Economist & Sun




May 30, 2012

“Amendment doesn’t fix mosque parking problem”

  Joe voted against amending the Mosque parking by-law

Markham Economist & Sun




May 18, 2012

“Markham mall granted holiday exemption”

  Joe lobbied successfully for holiday shopping

Markham Economist & Sun



May 18, 2012

“Markham retail centre on quest to open holidays”

  Joe supports large-scale retail mall’s quest to open on holidays

Markham Economist & Sun




May 16, 2012

 “York Region to vote on Markham mall’s bid to open on statutory holidays”

  Joe calls the 22-year old Retail Business Holidays Act outdated

Toronto Star




May 2, 2012

“500k spent on Markham NHL-size arena consultants”

  Joe calls for the release of the cost of the arena consultants report

Markham Economist & Sun




April 29, 2012

“Markham mum on Bettman talks”

  Joe believes Markham investing in the Arena will not break even

National Post




 April 27, 2012

“James: The real price of the Markham arena”

  Joe doesn’t want to see Markham plunging into debt

Toronto Star




 April 27, 2012

“Markham backs plan for 20,000 seat arena” 

  Joe insists the Arena should be privately-funded



April 27, 2012

“NHL team icing on cake for Markham” 

“Markham oks financing for NHL-ready arena”

Joe tries to push for deferral of the Arena deal and questions the legality of voluntary contributions from developers

Markham Economist & Sun




April 25, 2012

“Confidential report details Markham’s NHL dreams” 

Joe raises questions on the financial framework of the Arena deal and prepares to motion for a deferral of the deal

Markham Economist & Sun




April 25, 2012

Trail to take route outside Milne Park” 

Joe voted in favour of an on-street option of the Milne trail

Markham Economist & Sun




April 19, 2012

“Culture key in the holiday shopping debate”

Joe voted in support of a large-scale retail mall’s exemption request

Markham Economist & Sun




 March 26, 2012

“Markham debates electing regional chair” 

Joe voted against deferring the Direct Election of Regional Chair motion

Markham Economist & Sun




 March 22, 2012

Markham mayor, councillor bristle at request to see expenses” 

Joe expensed just $5 out of his $6,500 annual discretionary budget

Markham Economist & Sun




  March 1, 2012

  February 24, 2012


“Heated debate over severance in Markham” 

“Rouge River Estates lot severance supported”

Joe voted against the severance of lots in Rouge River Estates

Markham Economist & Sun




 February 8, 2012

“Markham hikes taxes”

Joe voted against the tax hike

Markham Economist & Sun




 January 27, 2012

Hydro rate hike could pay to bury power lines”

Joe voted against the costly pilot to bury hydro lines in Markham Centre

Markham Economist & Sun




  January 27, 2012

Residents, council split on severance bylaw”

Joe voted against the severance of lots in Rouge River Estates

Markham Economist & Sun




 January 27, 2012

“Region approves tax hike”

Joe voted against Region’s tax hike  

Markham Economist & Sun




 January 27, 2012

“Business mission partner earns India award”

Joe to take part in the trade mission to India  

Markham Economist & Sun




 December 4, 2011

An initiative spearheaded by Joe, Sun Yat-Sen Avenue was officially unveiled on December 4, 2011 by Mayor Scarpitti and other Members of Council with the Federal Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Jason Kenney as their honoured guest.




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© 2002-2018
Joe Li is the Regional Councillor of Markham & York Region - A commitment to serve Markham. Born in India to working-class parents, Joe Li's passion for politics and success took root in his teens. While his father wanted him to work in the family business upon graduation, Joe knew he could achieve a higher purpose in life and traveled to Europe. While living in Sweden, years of hard work in the restaurant industry eventually paid off, enabling Joe to eventually own three Chinese food restaurants in Sweden. Achieving great personal success in Europe, Li always dreamed of coming to Canada - a dream that was realized in 1984. In a short time, he found his niche at the London Life Insurance Company. After several promotions, he held the prestigious title of director of Asian initiatives. VICommunity - Virtual Integrated Community, Powered by QCTI - QC Technologies Inc.