Torontonians have spoken, and change has come to our city. After over a decade of right wing rule in Toronto, working people across the city have chosen a new direction and elected Olivia Chow as our next mayor.
I’d first like to start by congratulating Olivia on her victory. Olivia brings much-needed hope and has a long history of standing up for working people – during her time as school board trustee and then on Toronto city council, as well as during her time as an NDP Member of Parliament. Her years of experience in government, and as an organizer of communities in our city, will be a great addition to -- and much needed change of direction for -- city hall. Toronto can also be proud that we have elected the first mayor of colour in this city.
I’d also like to congratulate the people in every neighbourhood across the city who drove the change in this election. From the surveys we conducted, to our issues campaign and days of action in the streets, to the union members volunteering during this election, it was clear that workers agree that progressive change is desperately needed for our city. This consensus was reflected throughout the election, with many of the leading candidates picking up at least a portion of the progressive platform working people have been pushing for years. Eighty percent of the vote went to candidates who sought Labour Council’s backing in this election.
With Olivia elected as our new mayor, it’s clear that the work we have been doing together has paid off - and I think that is something we can be very proud of.
This is only the first step in our struggle for change in this city, however. Time and again, we have seen the Ford government trample on democracy and impose senseless cuts to public services. To ensure we can realize the progressive vision of the city we have voted for, working people need to be ready to fight alongside our new mayor and progressive councillors for a fair deal for our city. That will mean standing up to Ford and his cronies in Queen’s Park, calling on the federal government to do its part, and pushing every city councillor to support investments in city services, programs, and housing.
Time and again, working people in Toronto have shown what a mighty force they can be when they stand together. We have achieved a major victory for working people in the city today, and I look forward to continuing to fight alongside you for a city that works for everyone. Together we can!
Expect to hear more analysis about the election from the Labour Council in coming weeks, and about what’s next for working people in this city.
President, Toronto & York Region Labour Council