Toronto’s municipal campaign season kicks off

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May 1 was when Toronto’s municipal campaign season officially got underway.

That is when candidates for mayor, councillor and school board trustee began signing up to run in the October election — and with 47 wards this year, numerous ward boundary changes, and multiple councillors running provincially, there’s lots of room for change at City Hall.

It comes as no surprise that Mayor John Tory is running for a second term and he has already billed affordable housing to be one of his priorities should he be elected again.

His competition comes in the form of a young Toronto lawyer and activist Saron Gebresellassi and Sarah Climenhaga.

It is not clear yet who else will face off with Tory.

Toronto voters may get a rare chance to replace 10 councillors who won’t be running, and this is an opportunity to have new faces in City Hall.

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Several other women are also running with the backing of Women Win TO, a group dedicated to helping women run for municipal office.

With the provincial election around the corner, there will likely be openings thanks to the departures of Councillor Shelley Carroll (Ward 33, Don Valley East), who is running for the Liberals, along with Councillor Chin Lee (Ward 41, Scarborough-Rouge River), while Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong (Ward 34, Don Valley East) is running for the Progressive Conservatives.

But if those councillors fail in their provincial bid on June 7, they will have time to get back into the Toronto race, since the nomination period lasts until July 27. They are quite certain to be in either a provincial or municipal office given the fact that municipal elections invariably favors incumbents.

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As a staunch supporter of term limits, Councillor Mary Margaret McMahon (Ward 32, Beaches-East York) confirmed she won’t be running again, while Councillor Lucy Troisi (Ward 28, Toronto Centre-Rosedale) and Councillor Jim Hart (Ward 44, Scarborough East) both vowed not to run when they were appointed by city council to fill vacant seats.

The redrawn boundaries have added three new wards in the downtown core and one in central North York, while nixing one in the west end by consolidating three wards into two — leading to a total of 47 wards, up from the previous 44. – CINEWS

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