Fresh faces coming to City Hall in October

By Nitish Bissonauth

Toronto’s city council could see up to ten new faces this fall as some current city councillors hope to make the move to provincial politics in June.

Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong is running for the Progressive Conservative seat in Don Valley East and Mammoliti is seeking the PC nomination in Brampton. Councillors Shelley Carroll and Chin Lee are Liberal candidates in Don Valley North and Scarborough North respectively.

Toronto’s ward boundaries are also changing, with three new wards up for grabs and no incumbents to lead the pack.

The upcoming municipal elections later this year will also see a few departures from city council, including Councillors Lucy Troisi (Ward 28 — Toronto Centre-Rosedale), Jim Hart (Ward 44 — Scarborough East) and Mary Margaret McMahon (Ward 32 — Beaches-East York)

“I think it’s great. There were about 15 newbies in 2010 and it was a breath of fresh air coming down to City Hall” said McMahon. Since council doesn’t have any term limits, McMahon says these changes could deliver not only fresh faces but fresh perspectives to City Hall.

“We say we want gender equity, we say we want diversity, we want youth but that’s impossible if we won’t vacate our seat for 30 years,” she said.

Of the 44 councillors currently serving, just 14 are women. Toronto school trustee Ausma Malik hopes to improve on that number by running for city council herself. She also wants to increase the council’s diversity — she’s already the first Hijabi woman to be elected to public office in Canada and could be the first for city council.

“I’m really excited to see the opportunity for more younger voices, a new generation of Torontonians as well as people who reflect the diversity of our city and people who are interested in building a city for everyone” said Malik.

While ten new councillors may seem like a lot of new faces, political science professor Nelson Wiseman says it’s still too early to tell if this could shake things up inside council chambers.

“It depends what they stand for,” said Wiseman. “You can have 20 or 30 new faces and things might not change much or you can have one or two. Look how big of a shakeup we had just by changing the mayor last time.”

The municipal election is scheduled for October 22nd.

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