John Tory wins 2nd term as mayor of Toronto
John Tory has won a second consecutive term as mayor of Toronto.
Tory defeated former chief city planner Jennifer Keesmaat and 33 other mayoral candidates in a 10-month campaign that had him lead in the opinion polls from start to finish.
“Building on the foundations of the last four years, over the next four years my goal is to make sure no one, anywhere in our city, feels like opportunity is a distant point on the horizon,” Tory said in his victory speech in front of supporters Monday night.
WATCH: The moment Toronto Mayor John Tory and his family find out he’s won re-election
“We must continue to be a city that is a place of hope for everyone, not a place where people lose hope.”
The 2018 mayoral election, which was otherwise subdued with a lack of brand name candidates, was highlighted by Premier Doug Ford’s plan to cut the size of city council from 47 to 25 wards just weeks before voters headed to the polls.
READ MORE: Toronto election results 2018
The move prompted Keesmaat to enter the race on the last day of registration as the only recognizable progressive and left-leaning candidate.
Despite bold promises such as building 100,000 affordable housing units in 10 years, replacing the eastern portion of the Gardiner Expressway with a boulevard and touting her $50 billion transit plan, Keesmaat’s campaign failed to resonate with voters.
“Thank you to all of you that voted for me in this election,” Keesmaat said in her concession speech Monday night.
“I sincerely want to congratulate John Tory on his victory. Mr. Tory has worked hard his whole life in political office and I’m sure that our mayor will return to office determined to make his time there count.”
VIDEO: Jennifer Keesmaat thanks supporters after loss
Meanwhile, Tory presented himself as the stable option for Toronto voters by moving ahead with his SmartTrack plan promised in his 2014 election victory, a commitment to match a provincial investment of $25 million to fight crime in the city and keeping property taxes at or below the rate of inflation.
Tory also ran on the promise to continue to work with provincial and federal counterparts to secure funding for transit to build the downtown relief line and the Scarborough subway extension.
“It seems to me job one over the next few years is to continue the work of connecting Toronto up in many different ways to bring opportunities closer, to bring people closer, to bring us closer to our ultimate goal, which is a truly great 21st century city — a livable, affordable city with opportunities for everybody,” Tory said.
VIDEO: John Tory says working together will get things done
He also vowed to build 40,000 affordable housing units over 12 years by developing city-owned land.
Tory also said he would continue to work on eliminating traffic congestion and forge ahead with the city’s Vision Zero Road Safety plan to reduce fatalities and injuries by speeding up road redesign initiatives, installing zebra markings at more than 200 intersections and rolling out school and senior safety zones.
“I say not to just my own staff, that eight o’clock meeting is coming soon, but I say to city councillors, I say to city staff, I say to my friends in business, my friends in labour, to the non-profit sector and other levels of government, let’s get to it. Let’s get at it,” Tory said.
“I’m going to be calling on absolutely everyone. Together I think we can get things built. We can tear down barriers. We can make sure that this city reaches its full potential.”
VIDEO: John Tory tackles gun violence in victory speech
Tory, a former Ontario Progressive Conservative party leader from 2004 to 2009, defeated Doug Ford and Olivia Chow for the mayoral seat in 2014. He has said publicly that he would not seek a third term in office.
Tory is the 65th mayor of Toronto.View link »
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