Another high-profile name has entered Toronto’s mayoral race. Scarborough-Guildwood Member of Provincial Parliament Mitzie Hunter is officially running to be Toronto’s next top leader.
The longtime Liberal MPP confirmed her nomination for mayor Thursday morning.
“Toronto needs a champion. I am running for mayor to be that champion. For a city that works for everyone,” she tweeted Thursday morning.
Hunter will have to resign from her seat in the Ontario Legislature to run for mayor, as per municipal election rules.
“We cannot in any way afford for Toronto to fail as a city and by that I mean it’s happened before in cities in the United States without that turning point where we ensure that we stay on a trajectory as a world class global city,” she told CP24 Thursday morning.
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Hunter has been an MPP for four straight terms since 2013. Hunter also ran in the Ontario Liberal leadership race in 2020 but lost to Steven Del Duca, who ultimately resigned from the position in 2022 after failing to win a seat in the provincial election.
She said tackling the rise in violence within the city’s transit system would be one of her priorities if elected.
“We know that there are safety concerns and what I’ve said is people need to be safe, but they also need to feel safe on our transit system. And there’s a lot that we can do, it doesn’t cost us a lot of money, we can take these actions fairly quickly. We have existing Toronto Police Service officers. They can make sure that on their beats and as they’re driving around that they’re visible around transit stations,” she said.
“I’m also advocating for a transit blitz. Let’s recruit local ambassadors around transit stations to do a safety audit to see where there are gaps that we can address,” she added.
Hunter said she doesn’t plan on using the so-called Strong Mayor powers that Ontario Premier Doug Ford granted to Toronto and Ottawa mayors late last year.
The powers essentially give leaders the ability to veto by-laws and introduce new matters without notice to a council meeting in order to advance a provincial priority.
“What’s the point of imposing your will on a council? What happens when it has to be implemented? You still have to work with people and I’d like to do that upfront. So I will not use the Strong Mayor powers, instead I will rely on my abilities as a consensus and a unifier, I bring people together,” she told CP24.
Hunter has recently served as the Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development. Prior to this, she served as the Minister of Education and the Associate Minister of Finance.
Candidates running in Toronto’s mayoral race can officially file their nomination as of Monday until May 12. The Toronto by-election is scheduled for June. 26