Olivia Chow elected as Toronto’s first Chinese Canadian mayor


Olivia Chow has made history as Toronto’s first Chinese Canadian mayor

The new mayor: Chow, 66, won against 102 candidates with 37.2% of the city’s votes, making her the first Chinese Canadian to be elected as mayor to Canada’s biggest city. Chow will also be the first woman to serve as mayor since Barbara Hall in 1997.

“If you ever doubted what’s possible together, if you ever questioned your faith in a better future and what we can do with each other, for each other, tonight is your answer,” she said during her acceptance speech on Monday.

Chow’s pledge: Chow was elected mayor after promising to pursue a progressive approach in Toronto after the end of more than a decade of conservative rule. The previous, conservative-leaning mayor, John Tory, resigned in February after admitting that he had an affair with a staff member.

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Chow’s leadership comes at a time of rising housing costs and violent attacks on public transits in the city. She has pledged to support renters by building 25,000 rent-controlled homes over eight years. Chow also promised to help the city's homeless population by adding more social housing and respite spaces.

"I would dedicate myself to work tirelessly in building a city that is more caring, affordable and safe, where everyone belongs," Chow said.

About Chow: The new mayor was born in Hong Kong and emigrated to Canada at the age of 13. She was married to the late, former New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton, who died in 2011.

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Chow is reportedly a well-known veteran of Canadian progressive politics, having served as a city councilor before being elected to the federal parliament in Ottawa in 2006. She previously came in third when she ran for mayor in 2014.

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