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John Tory asks former campaign rivals to contribute at city hall

John Tory speaks to supporters after winning the Toronto mayoral election in Toronto on Monday, October 27, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Mayor-elect John Tory brought a stack of binders to a news conference outside city hall Tuesday to show he has begun the work of planning his mayoralty.

“They just gave me some light reading to do in a meeting I was just in,” Tory said to open his remarks.

Tory will be officially sworn in on Dec. 2, but he has begun work setting up a transition committee and an office on the 15th floor of City Hall.

“I’ll hang out there as required,” said Tory. But first he plans to take some time off to “read and think” about the tasks at hand.

Case Ootes will lead Tory’s transition team, the same man Rob Ford tapped for the job in 2010.

Also joining the team will be:

  • Christopher Eby, Chief of Staff to the Mayor-elect;
  • Vic Gupta, Principal Secretary to the Mayor-elect;
  • Joe Halstead, Former Commissioner, Economic Development, City of Toronto;
  • Nick Kouvalis, John Tory Campaign Advisor;
  • Susan McIsaac, President and CEO, United Way Toronto;
  • Arthur Lofsky, Former Advisor to Ontario Finance Ministers Sobara and Duncan;
  • Shirley Hoy, Former Toronto City Manager; and
  • Teresa Di Felice, Director of Government and Community Relations, CAA, South Central Ontario

Ootes will also chair the Transition Advisory Council, which will provide advice on transportation planning and SmartTrack; congestion and gridlock; and housing.

Members of the council include:

  • Geoff Cape, Founder and CEO, Evergreen;
  • Ken Chan, V.P., Advocacy, Research and Healthcare, Cystic Fibrosis Canada;
  • Alvin Curling, Former Speaker in the Ontario Legislature;
  • Mohamed Dhanani, Executive Officer, Ismaili Council of Canada;
  • Michelle DiEmanuele, President and CEO, Trillium Health Partners;
  • Robert Foster, Founder and President, Capital Canada;
  • Nikki Holland, Director of Public Affairs, Carpenters’ District Council of Ontario;
  • Blake Hutcheson, President and CEO, Oxford Properties;
  • Sharifa Khan, Board Member, Metro Toronto Convention Centre;
  • Sheldon Levy, President, Ryerson University;
  • Marnie McBean, Olympian;
  • Eric Miller, Professor, University of Toronto;
  • Micheal Nobrega, Former President and CEO, Omers;
  • Gail Nyberg, Executive Director, Daily Bread Food Bank;
  • Sevaun Palvetzian, Chief Executive Officer, Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance;
  • Rod Phillips, Chair, CivicAction;
  • Saad Rafi, CEO, 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games;
  • David Soknacki, Former Toronto City Councillor; and
  • Steve Upton, Vice President, Tridel and Chair, BILD (Building Industry and Land Development Association)

“We’ve put together a strong group to assist the Mayor-elect through the transition period,” Ootes said in a statement. “The efforts of all involved will ensure we can hit the ground running when John is sworn into office on December 2.”

Tory said he has reached out to former mayoral rivals Olivia Chow, Karen Stintz, Ari Goldkind and Doug Ford to talk about how they might want to contribute to the operations at city hall under his leadership.

“I want all hands on deck to build up the city,” Tory said.

See below interactive map of how the top three mayoral candidates did on Monday by clicking on Toronto wards. Mobile viewers click here.


As for who Tory will appoint deputy mayor or to fill key committee positions, he said he has not thought about it and not had any conversations with city councillors about potential appointments.