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Toronto mayoral candidates share their thoughts on if front-runner Olivia Chow is elected 

Toronto mayoral candidate Olivia Chow takes part in a debate in Scarborough, Ont. on Wednesday, May 24, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Now Toronto and The Brandon Gonez Show hosted one of the final debates Monday evening ahead of the Toronto mayoral by-election on June 26. Moderated by Brandon Gonez, the live debate focused on Toronto’s Future, Now! Participating mayoral candidates included city councillors Brad Bradford and Josh Matlow, former Scarborough MPP Mitzie Hunter, former Toronto Sun columnist Anthony Furey and policy analyst Chloe Brown. Olivia Chow and Ana Bailão did not RSVP to their debate invites and Mark Saunders declined his. 

Following the debate, during our media scrum, reporters had the chance to ask participating candidates questions about their performance during the debate, campaigns, and the upcoming election. One of those questions was about how they would feel if Olivia Chow won the election. Chow is currently the front-runner in the polls. 

“I believe that the poll that matters ultimately is the one that happens on June 26. That’s the poll I’m looking forward to. I believe this is a change election,”  Hunter said. 

“I believe people are looking for something that’s different, we’re not looking to go backward or [for] what was done in the 90s. I believe that the council agenda needs to be about 2023 and the future of our city and I represent what’s happening now and the future and that’s what I believe.”

“I’ve been talking to Torontonians right across the city and they’re really looking for real solutions and a real plan and I’ve made that available. I put that forward well before voting began and I believe we need those solutions right now to fix our city,” Hunter continued. 

“I’ve been through so many campaigns first as a volunteer, now twice as a mayoral candidate. This is officially a year since the last one. So you know, it’s just another day in the empire,”  Brown, who finished third in the mayoral election in 2022. 

“I think I would feel best obviously if I won because I believe in the plan I’m putting forward. The reality is whether it be Olivia Chow or Mark Saunders, neither of them has put forward a plan that has the math add up,” Matlow said. 

“In other words, they both announced a bunch of things but they haven’t demonstrated how they can deliver on the promises. One of the biggest reasons that this city is in a financial mess, the reason why our services have declined over the years, and I believe actually the reason why so many people are apathetic and cynical and they don’t vote anymore, is because they don’t believe any of this stuff,” he added.

“I’m tired of it. I’m tired of politicians pandering in every election, telling us everything we want to hear, but having no realistic way to pay for it and deliver it. So, I’d be disappointed if anyone was elected who just thought they could manipulate the public into voting for them based on hopes and dreams or good stories or the idea of what they might do rather than the substance of what they can deliver,” Matlow said.

“I have a plan that even has some of the top economists in Canada, Kevin Page, who was the first parliamentary (budget) officer, who said that my plan works. So, I’m not just running to win this election, I’m running to fix this city.”

Candidate Anthony Furey was not asked about Olivia Chow, while candidate Brad Bradford did not participate in the media scrum.



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