London’s city council, mayor formally sworn in Monday night

Ed Holder gives his inaugural speech as the new Mayor of London. Christian D'Avino / 980 CFPL

The Ed Holder era is officially underway in the Forest City.

At a packed London Convention Centre Monday night, the former London West Conservative MP was formally sworn in, along with the 14 members of council.

“When I said I was energized, it’s because of the diversity in opinions this council has,” said Mayor Holder.

READ MORE: London’s incoming council to be formally sworn in Monday evening

“The beneficiary of this is London and its citizens, and that’s what I’m looking forward to.”

Holder’s first action as mayor was to put forward a motion to appoint Ward 4 coun. Jesse Helmer as deputy mayor.

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Councillors Steve Hillier and Paul van Meerbergen were the only councillors who voted against the motion.

“One of the two made it clear to me they just didn’t believe in the principle of having a deputy mayor,” Mayor Holder said.

“But as I’ve come to know Jesse Helmer, I’ve come to appreciate his preparedness, his passion for the city, and his willingness to work as a team.”

By many counts, the new council appears to be split on several key issues, including BRT.

“But I don’t think this council will be as divided as people believe,” said Ward 2 councillor Shawn Lewis.

READ MORE: London election returns incumbents, introduces fresh faces to city council

“In fact, I think we have a council that will be more willing to take steps to find middle ground, no matter on what side of the political spectrum they fall under,” he said.

Arielle Kayabaga, councillor for Ward 13, echoed similar sentiments.

“There is already a lot to do in this city,” an elated Kayabaga said. “But I think we will prioritize the needs of London and making councillor Helmer deputy mayor is already a step in the right direction.”

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