The mayoral race for Toronto’s next leader is heating up, with more and more candidates announcing their bid for the ballot. This comes following news that former mayor John Tory resigned after confessing to a relationship with a former member of his staff.
Here are some of the potential candidates looking to be Toronto’s next mayor:
Former Toronto Police Services Chief Mark Saunders joined the mayoral race on Monday. Saunders is recognized as the city’s first Black police chief from 2015 to 2020. Saunders says his first priority as mayor would be to restore a sense of safety in Toronto.
Earlier this month, Premier Doug Ford reportedly said it would be great if Saunders ran for mayor. In 2022, Saunders was chosen to run as their Progressive Conservative candidate for Don Valley West in the provincial election but was defeated by Liberal Stephanie Bowman.
Former city councilor for Davenport, Ana Bailão, has got her eye on the mayor seat. On March 17, she officially put her hat into the ring.
If Bailão wins, she says she will work on building affordable housing, reversing TTC cuts and saving money on highways. She’s been very vocal about the Gardiner Expressway and Don Valley Parkway costs and how they should be under the province’s jurisdiction, instead of Toronto residents. She says it’s only fair since drivers from across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area use the highways every day.
Candidate Chloe Brown finished third in the 2022 municipal election, trailing behind John Tory and Gil Penalosa. She is known for being outspoken and critical about Tory during the Toronto Region Board of Trade Mayoral Debate last year. During this debate, she called out the city’s problems including over-policing, drug overdoses, homelessness and violence.
One of her top priorities for the by-election is accessible and affordable housing. According to Humber news, she believes the city should address how people with disabilities are impacted by the lack of affordable housing before dealing with the issue of housing affordability.
READ MORE: By-election for Toronto’s next mayor to be held in June
Urbanist Gil Penalosa finished second to Tory in the 2022 municipal election. One day after Tory stepped down, Penalosa immediately said he would run again. His platform includes the majority of the same issues as his last campaign, such as solving the housing crisis and making the city more affordable.
His main message for everyone is to create cities for everyone. He aims to create equitable and sustainable cities where people can live healthy and happy no matter their race, age, gender ability or socio-economic background.
Penalosa says he will not approve legislations without at least half of council’s approval, regardless of the new “strong mayor” powers appointed to Toronto mayors by the provincial government last year.
Since 2010, Josh Matlow has been the councillor of Toronto-St. Paul’s. For over a decade, he has maintained a strong progressive voice at City Hall. He says some of the biggest issues impacting the city are the decline in public services and lack of affordable housing. His first priority as mayor will be to launch the City Works Fund, a property tax that will cost the average homeowner $67 a year and raise over $390 million dollars over five years to improve community services.
“Toronto is a diverse, vibrant, and beautiful city, filled with inspirational people I have been honoured to work with. I know and believe in the promise Toronto holds for so many. But for far too long, our political leadership at City Hall has held this city back from reaching its full potential,” Matlow said in a statement on Tuesday.
Former city councillor Giorgio is running for mayor of Toronto. Mammoliti represented Ward 7 – York West from 2000 up until 2018 when he was defeated in the election. Similar to Penalosa, he does not support the strong mayor powers bestowed by Premier Doug Ford. He said he would reconsider this option and allow councilors to work together.
The candidate is also known for being controversial and candid about his beliefs.
For instance, in 2018, critics blasted Mammoliti for disrespecting the Jane and Finch area, saying people should be evicted from that community.
“I see it like spraying down a building full of cockroaches,” Mammoliti said in an interview with Rebel Media. He goes on to say, “It’s no wonder our little kids in those communities are growing up angry and killing people.”
Anthony Furey is the latest to throw his hat into the ring.He worked as a newspaper columnist and broadcaster for the past 15 years. Now, he wants to use his career experience to bring a “fresh perspective” to the role.
His ideas for mayor include assisting those experiencing homelessness and drug addictions, cutting unnecessary city services, less road closures, and creating more bike lanes.
“You know who I want to make city hall about? The hockey moms, the guy stuck on the 401 and the small and medium businesses who have taken a beating the past few years,” Furey said in a video announcing his bid.
The deadline to apply as a candidate for the 2023 mayoral election is May 12.
The by-election for Toronto mayor is set for June 26.