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Hong Kong-born progressive leader Olivia Chow elected Toronto Mayor

Olivia Chow, a Hong Kong-born left-wing progressive standard-bearer, has won the Toronto Mayoral election in a historically crowded field of 102 candidates.

This was the second time in eight months that residents of the Canadian city voted for a mayor following the sudden resignation of incumbent John Tory, reports the BBC.

In her victory speech on Monday, the 66-year-old veteran politician spoke of her immigrant roots, while reminiscing about coming to Canada when she was only 13.

Toronto, Canada’s most populous city, is a place “where an immigrant kid can be standing in front of you as your new mayor”, the BBC quoted Chow as saying.

“Toronto is a place of hope, a place of second chances. While I’ve been knocked down, I always got back up. Because the people of this city are worth the fight.”

The mayoral by-election was launched after Tory, a moderate conservative, stepped down in February, hours after the Toronto Star newspaper reported he had an affair with a 31-year-old staffer during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Just months earlier, he had cruised into a third term, securing over 60 per cent of the vote.

This was Toronto’s first mayoral race without an incumbent since 2014 and no clear centre-right successor to Tory emerged.

Chow had earlier served as a city councillor for downtown Toronto before being elected to federal parliament in 2006, reports the BBC. 

She previously ran for mayor in 2014 but came in third.

Her campaign in this race focused on Toronto’s housing affordability crisis, with promises to build homes on city-owned land and provide more support for renters.

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