23 stuff you didn’t learn about Toronto’s new mayor, Olivia Chow

Former NDP MP Olivia Chow was elected mayor of Toronto on Monday, beating out 101 different candidates within the race. Chow has change into the primary individual of color to be named town’s mayor, and the primary lady to be mayor since amalgamation.

Chow captured over 37 per cent of the vote on Monday’s election, beating former councillor Ana Bailão by 30,000 votes. She additionally beat former police chief Mark Saunders — he received simply 8.6 per cent of the votes, regardless of efforts from Premier Ford, who not solely endorsed Saunders regardless of promising to not become involved within the mayoral election however despatched out robocalls urging residents to vote for him. 

Bailão additionally obtained an endorsement from former mayor John Tory late within the race, and whereas the endorsement helped shut the hole between her and Chow, who was main the polls far forward of all 101 different candidates for many of the campaigning interval, it clearly wasn’t sufficient. 

Chow received all of Toronto’s downtown wards, which incorporates Bailao’s former ward, and 5 of the six Scarborough wards.

Chow lead within the polls earlier than she even registered to run within the election, indicating that there was an urge for food for change in Toronto — town’s final progressive mayor was David Miller, who left workplace in 2010. She was most just lately a federal member of parliament for Trinity-Spadina serving from 2006 to 2014. She was additionally a Metropolitan metropolis councillor earlier than amalgamation and on Toronto metropolis council till 2005. She ran for mayor in 2014 ending third behind John Tory and runner-up Doug Ford.

“Individuals in Toronto are feeling caught. They’re caught ready for the bus, caught in visitors or caught on lists for housing, childcare and recreation applications. After a decade of conservative mayors, town has change into dearer and fewer habitable for individuals,” mentioned Chow, when she introduced her marketing campaign at a rooftop patio in Chinatown. “We can provide in to worry and pessimism, or we are able to select to channel our frustration into hope. We are able to open up metropolis corridor and work collectively to construct a extra caring, reasonably priced and safer metropolis.”

In her speech after her win was introduced, Chow emphasised this message of hope. “If you happen to ever doubted what’s potential collectively, if you happen to ever questioned your religion in a greater future and what we are able to do with one another and for one another, tonight is your reply,” Chow mentioned.

Here’s what Olivia Chow has to say

What was your first job?

In highschool, I snapped buttons onto pants as a seamstress in a manufacturing facility on Spadina.

What’s the worst piece of profession recommendation you’ve ever obtained?

Individuals advised me learning high quality arts and philosophy received’t get me very far.

What do you’re keen on most about Toronto?

The nice ravines, rivers and parks we now have right here. Our pure panorama and the way inexperienced it’s.

What do you dislike essentially the most?

How caught Toronto has change into. Individuals are feeling caught: sitting in visitors, ready for the bus, attempting to get reasonably priced housing, or attempting to entry metropolis companies. We are able to do higher – and we are going to.

The place is the primary place you ship guests?

The music backyard in the summertime, the AGO within the winter.

The place is the very best view within the metropolis?

Sunsets, moonrises and the skyline at Ontario Place

What’s your favorite special day restaurant?

Bar Raval, or a Chinese language scorching pot place: Liuyishou

What’s the final present you noticed in Toronto?

The Yr of the Cello by Marjorie Chan and Njo Kong Kie, at Theatre Passe Muraille

When was the final time Olivia Chow took public transit in Toronto?

I take the TTC on a regular basis!

Have you ever ever commuted by bicycle within the metropolis?

I’m a year-round bike owner. I even cycle to a few of my marketing campaign occasions.

The place is your favorite place to get away from all of it?

I can usually be discovered tenting at our provincial and nationwide parks. I spend my summers tenting alongside a river.

Gardiner Expressway – proceed with hybrid choice, sure or no?

I might rebuild the small part of the elevated Gardiner, east of Cherry Avenue, that’s in disrepair as a ground-level boulevard as an alternative. It’ll nonetheless hook up with the DVP, and we are able to save building time, some huge cash, and open up a number of acres of land for extra housing.

Do you help the Ontario Place Thermé Spa mission?

No. Ontario Place must be for everybody to get pleasure from. As a substitute of spending the lots of of hundreds of thousands proposed to prepared the land for the posh mega-spa mission, we must always spend money on upgrading Ontario Place to function a park for all Torontonians for generations to come back.

What’s your definition of reasonably priced housing?

Nobody must be spending greater than a 3rd of their revenue on housing. My plan to construct 25,000 rent-controlled properties on metropolis land consists of 1000’s of below-market items and rent-geared-to-income items. Additional, our metropolis is quickly dropping the reasonably priced items we now have now, that’s why I’ve a plan the place town will help purchase reasonably priced items vulnerable to renovictions and switch them to non-profit possession, like land trusts, to protect affordability. I may also develop applications that help renters, just like the Hire Financial institution, Eviction Prevention in Group, and the Tenant Assist Fund to verify extra individuals can keep housed.

What extra can town do to assist these experiencing homelessness in Toronto?

We will help individuals safe everlasting housing by offering hire dietary supplements. We will help individuals entry companies and helps by creating new 24/7 respite centres the place individuals can get meals and showers. And we are able to develop companies by offering funding and dealing with group companies and folks with lived expertise to maximise its affect.

Does town have a public security downside? In that case, what’s your answer?

Individuals have to really feel secure in our metropolis. We are able to make a direct affect by increasing group disaster groups city-wide, getting cell service for everybody on the TTC, and shortening 911 wait occasions. We should additionally get to the roots of violence and help individuals by bettering entry to metropolis companies, group applications for youth, housing and psychological well being companies.

Are Toronto residents going to should pay extra in taxes to enhance high quality of life within the metropolis? If not, what’s the reply?

Each finances course of ought to begin with what individuals in our metropolis want, which companies should be offered or improved. Property taxes and different income instruments ought to serve that purpose, and folks ought to have the ability to see their taxes working for them within the type of high quality companies.

When previous mayors and metropolis councillors have failed to make use of property taxes to cowl prices they made life much less reasonably priced in our metropolis by growing program charges and transit fares and so they delay repairs to our roads and infrastructure that value us extra at present to repair.

I’ve been clear on how I might pay for each coverage proposal I’ve put ahead. That features elevating the Vacant Houses Tax and utilizing these funds to help renters, utilizing income from a brand new Luxurious Houses Tax on the sale of properties over $3 million to assist combat homelessness, a small enhance to the Metropolis Constructing Fund to kickstart constructing 25,000 extra properties, and a modest enhance to property taxes to fund different necessary companies like bettering 911 wait occasions. I’ll even be a champion for a brand new deal for Toronto from the provincial and federal governments so we are able to lastly see our tax {dollars} working for us.

Is Doug Ford’s interference within the metropolis inflicting an issue, sure or no?

Toronto wants and desires a provincial accomplice that respects native democracy and places up its fair proportion of funding for our metropolis. As mayor, I’ll advocate for and with the individuals of Toronto for a good deal for our metropolis, and proceed my monitor file of working with companions of all political stripes.

What would you say is Toronto’s most iconic meals?

Now we have meals from each tradition right here, that’s probably the greatest issues about our metropolis.

If you happen to had been to help a car-free zone within the metropolis the place wouldn’t it be?

Kensington Market. I began car-free pedestrian Sundays there as a councillor.

Is town doing sufficient to battle the local weather disaster? If not, what would you do otherwise?

Not sufficient is being executed proper now. Local weather change is already impacting individuals throughout Toronto. Along with fully-funding the TransformTO motion plan, I’ll spend money on stronger resiliency plans to make it safer for tenants throughout heatwaves, develop entry to transit, biking infrastructure and safer streets so it’s simpler and handy to decide on to not drive.

What must be executed concerning public transit, the cuts and the low ridership?

If we need to encourage individuals to make use of public transit, we’d like to verify it’s handy, secure and reasonably priced. However proper now what we now have is service cuts and rising fares. I’m dedicated to dramatically bettering transit service, beginning with reversing the current service cuts, and making it simpler for individuals to decide on transit to get round our metropolis.

What’s Olivia Chow’s very best quality?


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