Jun 27, 2023

By Jane Brown

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Olivia Chow heads to Toronto City Hall Tuesday as the city’s mayor-elect, after winning Monday’s mayoral byelection.

“Thank you to the people of Toronto for their trust they placed in me and the mandate for change as your new mayor,” Chow told her supporters Monday night.

Chow won the day with 37-percent of the vote, just 5-percent more than second place Ana Bailao who surged in popularity during the final week of the campaign.

“In our city’s most chalengest moments Toronto has always had a way of coming together to find solutions and now with Olivia Chow as our next mayor it’s time to come together to be there for one another and to support solutions that fix our services, that build housing and make life more affordable for all the residents of Toronto,” Bailao told her supporters.

In the end it really was a two person race with Mark Saunders finishing well behind with just under 9-percent of the vote.

As for the others, Anthony Furey placed fourth with 5-percent of the vote, Josh Matlow had just under 5-percent, followed by Mitzie Hunter, Chloe Brown and Brad Bradford.

The rest of the 94 candidates as a group grabbed 6.5 percent of the vote.

Ontario’s premier, who had come out publicly against Olivia Chow, saying just last week she would be “an unmitigated disaster” released a statement congratulating Chow as the next mayor of Toronto. There was no mention of his preferred candidate, Mark Saunders, in the statement.

In her victory speech, Mayor-Elect Chow spoke about working with Doug Ford.

“I said to Premier Ford who graciously called me tonight, and his (Housing) Minister Steve Clark. He called me and he said we look forward to working together, we look forward to finding common ground, because I know we both believe in the people of this city,” said Chow.

Chow also said she is looking forward to working with the prime minister and his government.

And Tuesday morning while doing post election interviews, Olivia Chow said job number one will be housing.

“Let’s get the housing, especially is some social housing from non-profit organizations, they have been waiting for two years to get approved. So we got the money, we got the land, they got the building, everything’s ready, they just need the approval, shovels to hit the ground, let’s just get this moving,” Chow explained.

Our coverage of Toronto’s mayoral byelection featured a who’s who of current and former city politicians and strategists.

Election Night at the ZoomerPlex was hosted by Libby Znaimer and Marissa Lennox.

City Councillor James Pasternak liked what Chow had to say about Premier Ford and Justin Trudeau.

“That’s what Torontonians expect for their mayor to get along with other levels of government,” Pasternak explained, “We’re tired of these intergovernmental battles over everything and we want the governments to work together and get things done.”

Olivia Chow is a 66 year old veteran politician and first racialized person to become Toronto’s mayor.

She is pledging to bring change to the city and to build much needed affordable housing.

The results of the election are set to be certified by the city clerk on Wednesday with a swearing-in ceremony set for July 12th.

Turnout for the byelection was just under 40-percent of eligible voters compared with 29-percent last October.

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