By Elspeth Chalmers –
After leading in early polls, Chris Moise won election to City Council for Ward 13 on October 24. A former Toronto District School Board Trustee, Moise was endorsed by former Toronto Centre councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam, now the riding’s NDP MPP.
Cheers erupted at The Lodge in the Church-West Village when the results were announced. Campaign ally Deborah Williams was elected as a Toronto District School Board trustee for Wards 10 and 13, while Kevin Morrison won as Catholic trustee for Ward 9. Moise thanked voters, volunteers, campaign organizers and his grandmother. “I came to Canada when I was seven years old with my grandmother and one suitcase.” The road has not been easy, but Moise is proud of what he’s accomplished.
“I’m so thankful for this privilege and I take it seriously. Toronto Centre is the centre of the city, the centre of the province, and may be the centre of Canada. When we prosper, the entire country prospers.”
Moise is focused on supporting the yongeTOmorrow project, which aims to improve the pedestrian experience on Yonge Street between College and Queen Streets. He also wants cleaner city streets, with reduced litter and improved garbage collection.
The “mayhem of construction” in the core, he said, could improve with better public notices and more accountability of city staff so “people can stay in the loop.”
Moise would like to see the five-year Downtown East Action Plan become permanent, which would increase street cleaning, parks staff and other services. In the immediate future, he hopes the growing tent encampment in Allan Gardens can be removed “without police intervention,” but with transitional or temporary housing ensured for its residents through the winter.
In Ward 10 (Spadina-Fort York), Ausma Malik, the first hijab-wearing woman elected to public office in Canada as a TDSB trustee in 2014, became the first hijab-wearing woman elected to City Council.
The frontrunner throughout her campaign, Malik won with 36% of the vote. She was supported by several notable figures, including retiring Ward 11 (University-Rosedale) City Councillor Mike Layton.|
Moise received 48.5% of the votes cast in a record-breaking Toronto election with less than 30% of eligible voters having cast a ballot. The all-time high was in 2014, when 60% of eligible voters participated.
Across the province, about 36% of Ontarians voted municipally, the worst election turnout in 40 years.
Gil Penalosa, runner-up in Toronto’s mayoral election, tweeted shortly after election results were announced that “councillors who got less than 50% vote [should] know that they do NOT deserve to be in Council.” A ranked ballot system and term limits for elected officials would be fairer, he believes.
An internationally known urbanist, Penalosa put forward several bold ideas in his campaign including tearing down the eastern portion of the Gardiner Expressway to save more than $1 billion. He received almost 100,000 votes with a tenth of John Tory’s campaign budget (Tory got 342,000 votes).
Mayor Tory credits his ability to secure funding for Toronto from all levels of government as part of his campaign success. He was elected for a historic albeit predictable third time. If Tory completes his four-year term, he will become Toronto’s longest serving mayor.
Tory says he plans to focus on “keeping our economy strong by continuing to attract jobs and investment, keeping our streets safe and helping those in need right across the city.”
Official Election Results from the City of Toronto:
Mayoral Candidates (Top 5)
John Tory: 342,158 (62.0%)
Gil Penalosa: 98,525 (17.8%)
Chloe-Marie Brown: 34,821
Blake Acton: 8,893
Sarah Climenhaga: 6,729
Chris Moise: 10,457 (48.5%)
Nicki Ward: 3,940 (18.3%)
Caroline Murphy: 2,625
Colin Johnson: 1,087
Dan Cortez Manalo 1,055
Miguel Avila 1,049
Ryan Lester 648
Cleveland Marshall 400
Dev Ramsumair 307
Ausma Malik: 8,033 (36.6%)
April Engelberg: 4,690 (21.3%)
Rocco Achampong: 1,906
Peter George: 1,757
Igor Samardzic: 1,686
Karlene Nation 1,001
Stephanie Soltermann 661
Arber Puci 603
Laura-Maria Nikolareizi 471
Kyle Enslen 439
Robb Cooke 434
Andrei Zodian 297