Councillor Joe Cressy won’t run for re-election in 2022, says future is ‘outside elected office’

Cressy, who was first elected to Toronto Council in 2014, is currently the chair of the city’s board of health.

By John Marchesan and Lucas Casaletto

Joe Cressy says he will not be running for re-election in his Spadina—Fort York riding when the next municipal election is held in 2022.

“I love Toronto. I believe that municipal government can be a powerful force for good. For equity and inclusion. For everyone,” he tweeted Sunday morning. “There are many ways to contribute to our community though. For me, the future (whatever it may hold) is outside elected office.”

Cressy, who was first elected to Toronto Council in 2014, is currently the chair of the city’s board of health. He had been touted as a potential mayoral candidate in 2022.

“I have a fundamental foundational belief that people should enter politics to do good and move on,” Cressy told CityNews on Sunday. “And I’ve always planned on leaving City Councillor after two terms because I believe we want politicians to get in, do good, and move on.”

Cressy admits the last two years of the COVID-19 pandemic “have been pretty taxing,” adding that he wants to spend more time with his family.

“There are parts of this pandemic on multiple occasions where I’ve lived apart from my son and my wife,” he said. “Early in the first wave, because at the command team at City Hall we all isolated in order to work together. I want those hours back. I want to see my kid more and after the next election we’re going to get to.”

Fellow councillor Mike Layton paid tribute to Cressy, calling him a “force at City Hall” when it comes to protecting the city’s most vulnerable.

“Homeless crisis, opioid crisis, road safety crisis – Joe has been out front,” tweeted Layton. “Joe has made possible many things some thought to be impossible.”

Parkdale-High Park Councillor Gord Perks said he was “very sad” Cressy would not be running for mayor, calling him an inspiration to work with over the years.

“I wish him all success and happiness in his next journey.”

Kristyn Wong-Tam called it an honour to work with Cressy.

“Public service has always come with some private sacrifice,” she tweeted. “You’ve carried it brilliantly.”

As of what he’s most proud of during his time in office, Cressy says Toronto’s overwhelmingly positive reception through the vaccination campaign is right up there.

“This team Toronto response, it’s not a slogan, everybody stepped up. Healthcare workers, paramedics, the city public health, residents.”

With files from CityNews senior reporter Mark McAllister

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