New candidates announce mayoral bids after John Tory’s resignation plan

Gil Penalosa, pictured during the Oct. 13, 2022 CARP mayoral debate, says he is running for the role again.  (Evan Mitsui/CBC - photo credit)

Gil Penalosa, pictured during the Oct. 13, 2022 CARP mayoral debate, says he is running for the role again. (Evan Mitsui/CBC – photo credit)

Hours after Toronto Mayor John Tory announced he will be stepping down from the role, recent mayoral candidates are announcing their bids to take his post.

The announcements come after the Toronto Star reported on Friday about Tory’s relationship with a former employee at his office – something Tory called a “serious error of judgment” that risked “tainting” the city’s top job.

Toronto mayor’s runner-up in the last local election, Gil Penalosa, says he’s ready to run again using the same platform as before, despite the last-minute announcement, saying Tory is creating “a crisis” that “shouldn’t have happened.” “.

“I think it’s an opportunity for Toronto to elect someone who is working to create a Toronto for all,” Penalosa told CBC Toronto.

“A lot of candidates who would have run if Tory hadn’t run didn’t run because they thought Tory had too much money and power.”

Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie, a Scarborough councilwoman who was re-elected to a second term in last October’s election and is a Tory ally, will take office until a new mayor is elected. According to state laws, a by-election is expected in the coming months.

Penalosa, an urbanist and founder and chairman of the non-profit organization 8 80 Cities, was one of Tory’s most vocal challengers during the campaign. He received nearly 18 percent of the total vote, while Tory received over 60 percent of the vote cast.

Penalosa’s platform included reforming housing zoning, creating what he believed would be the longest urban road network in North America, and expanding fast bus service. He also proposed demolishing the Gardiner Expressway East and building apartments on it instead.

Blake Acton, who finished fourth for mayor in October’s election, announced on Twitter that he would also be running again.

He says he was “inundated with calls and texts” after Tory’s resignation and that Toronto residents should vote for him for a “safe and clean” city.

“Tory has resigned, this is the time the people of Toronto must demand that Blake Acton be Toronto Mayor!” he tweeted.

The next mayor will be tasked with taking over policy on key issues that have come to a head in recent weeks, including the council’s decision not to open 24/7 warming centers for the homeless and tackling rising violence at the TTC.

Council member, former city employee, weighs the next mayor

Jennifer Keesmaat, former chief city planner and 2018 mayoral candidate, has had the support of many online members urging her to run for the by-election.

Speaking to CBC News, the current city planner ruled out her offer for the role. But she said some “really great candidates” are lining up and talking about the possibility of transforming Toronto behind closed doors.

“I think it’s a really important job, and it’s a job that, if done right, can really change the direction of the city,” Keesmaat said.

“I couldn’t be more passionate about what I do and I will stick to this course.”

Michael Cole/CBC

Michael Cole/CBC

Toronto-St. Councilor Paul Josh Matlow, who has also commented on the mayoral bid, urged residents and the council not to be distracted by news about Tory coming up next week: cementing the city’s budget.

“We’re going to debate whether we allow our infrastructure to continue to deteriorate, our parks receive the lack of maintenance they suffer today, and the bottom line is we also have people out on our streets in the cold with nowhere to go,” he said Matlow to CBC news network.

Matlow would not confirm if he would run for mayor and says he’s not sure when he’ll have an answer.

“It is a great sacrifice to run for mayor. That being said, I care deeply about this city, so I’m intentionally holding back because I want to have these conversations,” Matlow said.


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