Toronto election 2018: Meet your new city councillors
While plenty of attention was focused on incumbents fighting colleagues to win one of 25 new wards in a shrunken council on Monday, there are two new faces who won in open races and two candidates who defeated sitting councillors.
Meet the four councillors-elect who will be joining the 21 current members of Toronto city council.
Brad Bradford, Ward 19 Beaches–East York
Brad Bradford, who has worked as an urban planner, defeated former area NDP MP Matthew Kellway by fewer than 300 votes to become councillor for Ward 19 in a race where no incumbents were running.
Bradford had the backing of Toronto Mayor John Tory, who campaigned with Bradford several times and tapped him to be a champion on council for the downtown subway relief line. He also received support from outgoing Ward 32 Councillor Mary Margaret McMahon.
“I’m completely humbled and overwhelmed. So many people put so much work into this community-driven campaign,” Bradford told Global News late Monday, adding he’s grateful for the support from Tory and community members.
“As the polls were coming in, to see it come together, was absolutely overwhelming, inspiring and I’m completely humbled.”
Bradford said people are asking for “less partisan politics and maybe fewer career politicians” while praising the campaigns put forward by his competitors. He said transit and housing are the two biggest issues facing Toronto right now and wants to work with the upper levels of government.
“Transit is not just about the trips you make in a particular ward. It’s about all-day, all-direction travel, and we need to start thinking about transit as a network,” Bradford said.
“The downtown relief line is a very important piece of our transit network and needs to be our top transit priority moving forward. I’m very excited to get to work on that.”
READ MORE: Toronto election results 2018
When asked about how he will work to represent a larger ward under the new boundaries, Bradford said he spent a lot of time door knocking in the campaign and he said his approach to community engagement won’t change.
He also said community councils should be a bigger part of the decision-making process with an expanded role for residents.
“The issues are different street to street, neighbourhood to neighbourhood, block to block. People are still going to expect government to be responsive and I’m committed to that,” Bradford said.
Mike Colle, Ward 8 Eglinton–Lawrence
Mike Colle, who most recently served as the longtime MPP for Eglinton-Lawrence before he was defeated in June’s election, received nearly twice as many votes as incumbent one-term Coun. Christin Carmichael Greb to become the representative for Ward 8.
Colle previously served as a councillor for the City of York and Metropolitan Toronto before becoming a MPP in 1995.
In his platform, Colle said he would advocate for safety zones for all schools, impounding vehicles and suspending drivers’ licences for those found with illegal guns, not allowing private cannabis retail stores, keeping the TTC public and taking a “time out and pause” on residential developments in “over-capacity neighbourhoods.”
Cynthia Lai, Ward 23 Scarborough North
Cynthia Lai, who is the former president of the Toronto Real Estate Board, won with 1,400 votes more than second-place finisher Maggie Chi to become councillor for Ward 23. There were no incumbents running in this ward.
Lai touted endorsements from area PC MPP Raymond Cho and neighbouring Coun. Jim Karygiannis.
When asked for her thoughts on the campaign, Lai told Global News late Friday that she is feeling “great, but tired.” She said she eager to be a “strong voice” and a “fighter for Scarborough,” adding she’s in support of a 25-ward council.
READ MORE: John Tory wins 2nd term as mayor of Toronto
“I think too many cooks sometimes spoil the broth,” Lai said, adding she would like to consider using technology to help with representing residents.
“I will work smarter, not harder. You really have to delegate and oversee things … I think we need to be visionary and keep an open mind to new ideas.”
Lai said she wants to advocate for extending the Sheppard subway line to Markham Road, making proactive investments in youth initiatives in an effort to address the effects of gun and gang violence, tightening regulations on smoking cannabis in public spaces and opting out of cannabis retail stores, and improving supports for seniors.
Jennifer McKelvie, Ward 25 Scarborough–Rouge Park
Jennifer McKelvie, who is an environmental scientist by trade, has been involved with multiple community organizations. She defeated one-term incumbent Coun. Neethan Shan by just over 150 votes to become the representative for Ward 25.
McKelvie was among the earliest registrants to run under the 25- and 47-ward models.
“I’m really excited that I can work for the people of Scarborough–Rouge Park at Toronto city hall,” she told Global News late on Monday.
“To keep it fun, we set an ambitious goal of 2.9 million steps on the trail — one for every resident of Toronto — and we knew it was going to be a ground game … tonight really does prove you win an election at the doors.”
McKelvie said the new, larger ward introduced her to meet residents in the Malvern, Morningside Heights and the Rouge areas, neighbourhoods not under the original, small ward she initially signed up for.
TORONTO ELECTION 2018: 13 incumbents defeated as council shrinks to 25 wards
She said she wants to advocate for new transit services in Scarborough, such as the implementation of the Eglinton East LRT — a service that would end at the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus.
McKelvie also said she wants to focus on the creation of jobs in the suburbs.
She said she wants to see the City of Toronto overhaul its community engagement methods in order to work with residents, especially under the new 25-ward model.
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