Olivia Chow resigns as New Democrat MP to run for mayor of Toronto

Olivia Chow resigned her seat in Parliament Wednesday as she prepared to launch her bid to replace Rob Ford as mayor of the country’s largest city.

OTTAWA — Olivia Chow resigned her seat in Parliament Wednesday as she prepared to launch her bid to replace Rob Ford as mayor of the country’s largest city.

Chow is expected to formally kick off her mayoral campaign Thursday in the inner city Toronto neighbourhood of St. James Town, where she grew up.

She is considered one of the front-runners in the race that includes one-time provincial Conservative leader and failed mayoral candidate John Tory, city councillor Karen Stintz and infamous incumbent Rob Ford.

When asked about the threat Chow poses, Ford said he couldn’t wait for October’s municipal election.

“I’ll put my proven track record of saving taxpayers’ money and customer service against anyone any day. Let the people decide,” said the controversial mayor who was stripped of most of his powers late last year after a series of personal scandals.

“My people are strong. My Ford Nation people aren’t budging and we’re doing great. I can’t wait, it’s going to get interesting.”

Jamey Heath, who will be communications director for Chow’s campaign, said the former NDP MP will be the only “progressive” contender in the already crowded field.

But he predicted she’ll appeal to people across the political spectrum, including the blue-collar folks who supported Ford’s no-nonsense populism but who can be persuaded it’s time for a change following Ford’s admitted “drunken stupors” and use of crack cocaine.

“We think there are two candidates who can appeal to sort of blue-collar, regular voters in Toronto, one of whom is Rob Ford and one of whom is Olivia Chow,” Heath said.

“We don’t see John Tory being able to connect with them. We think Olivia can.”

Chow’s campaign launch will stress her personal story, growing up in Toronto as the daughter of struggling immigrant parents, a story Heath said many Torontonians can identify with.

Chow served as a Toronto city councillor from 1991 until she was elected to the House of Commons in 2006 in a Toronto riding.

Her departure from Parliament was greeted with “mixed emotions” from federal NDP leader Tom Mulcair, who said his party’s loss is Toronto’s gain.

“Olivia Chow is a fighter who will always defend the public’s interest first and foremost,” he said.

“I thank her wholeheartedly for her constant support and her important contributions to making Canada a fairer, more prosperous country.”

Chow’s campaign will involve New Democrats like Heath and Brian Topp, who were key to her late husband Jack Layton’s success in the federal arena.

But it will be headed by veteran Conservative strategist John Laschinger, who masterminded David Miller’s successful mayoral campaigns, while her war room will be run by Warren Kinsella, a well-known Liberal.

Just Posted

BREAKING: Red Deer to host Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2018

Saddle up Red Deer, the Canadian Finals Rodeo in Canada is coming… Continue reading

Veterans’ Park barrier key to pedestrian safety, says Red Deer traffic engineer

The recently roughed-up concrete barrier in front of Veterans’ Park has seen… Continue reading

Man accused of home invasion in court

Victim was shot and cut with machete in September 2017 attack

Suspect accused of fleeing police in court

RCMP fired shots twice while trying to arrest three suspects in October 2017 chase

WATCH: Rebels play floor hockey with Annie L. Gaetz students

The Rebels may be on a losing streak but they were definitely… Continue reading

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag at Pyeongchang Olympics

Not since Kurt Browning at the 1994 Lillehammer Games has a figure… Continue reading

Beer Canada calls on feds to axe increasing beer tax as consumption trends down

OTTAWA — A trade association for Canada’s beer industry wants the federal… Continue reading

Central Albertans recall Hawaii’s false missile alert

Former Red Deer councillor Paul Harris was hanging out at the Ka’anapali… Continue reading

This robotic maid takes us one step closer to ‘The Jetsons’

Imagine this: You’re rushing to get ready for work — juggling emails,… Continue reading

Milan line offers canine couture for pampered pooches

Milan has long been the world’s ready-to-wear fashion leader. Now, dogs are… Continue reading

Kim Kardashian West and husband Kanye welcome baby girl

NEW YORK — It’s a girl for Kim Kardashian West and her… Continue reading

Advocate poll takers oppose plastic bag ban

Red Deer Advocate readers like their plastic bags. In an Advocate poll,… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month