Councillor Maria Augimeri drops candidacy as city council speaker

WATCH: With a new term comes new challenges for mayor John Tory who will have to sort out a speaker controversy. Dave Trafford reports.

TORONTO – Councillor Maria Augimeri will not, after all, challenge John Tory’s choice of councillor Frances Nunziata as the council speaker.

Tory picked Nunziata to continue the role she held during Rob Ford’s term in office but Augimeri said yesterday she wanted to create a new inclusive tone at council by declaring her candidacy as speaker.

However on Wednesday morning, Augimeri told reporters she wasn’t able to rally enough votes in her favour and is therefore dropping her candidacy.

“I really want to thank the 19 people who stood with me,” she said. “The mayor’s office has assured me there will be a more civil tone. We’ve been promised that council will be more controlled.”

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Nunziata has been criticized in the past for her abrasive approach on keeping order in council chambers and siding with Ford on a number of issues.

Unlike the deputy mayor position and the chairs of the standing committees, the speaker role is voted on by council members.

Council will discuss the matter at its meeting this afternoon.

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