Coun. Arielle Kayabaga throws hat in ring for London West Liberal nomination

London Ward 13 Coun. and Liberal candidate for London West Arielle Kayabaga.
London Ward 13 Coun. and Liberal candidate for London West Arielle Kayabaga. Arielle Kayabaga / Twitter

London city Coun. Arielle Kayabaga has announced plans to run for the Liberal party nomination in the London West federal riding after MP Kate Young announced she won’t seek re-election.

Kayabaga, who currently represents Ward 13, which makes up London’s downtown core, made the announcement on Twitter on Friday morning.

“This year has been hard on us. Especially our youth, women and racialized communities. Our small businesses, many struggling right now, need help. How do we help? We show up. I show up. I’ve been honoured to serve as a strong voice for London,” she wrote in a tweet.

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The Ward 13 councillor went on to say that the city of London “deserves a strong voice to fight for fair and just recovery,” and that she was “committed to the community.”

In her Twitter thread, Kayabaga also thanked Young for her service to the community.

Read more: London West MP Kate Young announces she won’t run in next federal election

Young, who has served as London West MP for the Liberal party since first being elected in 2015, announced her decision not to run for a third term on Thursday.

“After much thought and consideration, I have decided to step back from political life,” she said in a statement.

“This is not an easy decision because I am honoured to represent the people of London West. However, I believe the time has come to let someone else serve this riding,” she said.

While the timing of the next election is not yet known, Young said she wanted to give the London West Riding Association the time it needed to find a new candidate “who will successfully represent the Liberals in this riding.”

Read more: Incumbents Mo Salih, Jesse Helmer won’t run in London’s 2022 election

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The decision comes two weeks after two-term incumbents Mo Salih and Jesse Helmer announced they will not be seeking re-election in the 2022 municipal race to make way for “new voices and diverse perspectives.”

“We know we need more women, including women of colour, making the decisions at City Hall. London should have a council as diverse as our city.”

Kayabaga became the first Black woman ever elected to London’s city council when she won her seat in 2018.

— with files from Jacquelyn LeBel

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