By Victoria Quiroz
As of Tuesday Feb 25, there were 32 people running for the office of mayor of Toronto.
Of the 32 candidates the three biggest names are: former provincial leader of the Progressive Conservative party, John Tory; city councillor and former Toronto Transit Commission Chair Karen Stintz; and current mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford.
The remaining 29 candidates have backgrounds ranging from Toronto city councillor to founder of the neo-Nazi Nationalist Party of Canada.
Prospective candidates only need to be Canadian citizens aged 18 or over, eligible to vote within the municipality, and the $200 nomination filing fee, according to the Ontario government’s 2014 candidate’s guide.
Once a nominee has secured their place on the mayoral ballot the real work begins, primarily securing the funds to proceed with the campaign.
In 2010 Rob Ford’s campaign went $40,168 over the $1.3-million legal limit for campaign spending. Landing the office of the mayor of Toronto ended up costing Ford and his supporters $1,340,168 altogether.
Ford was lucky enough to garner, according to the 2013 audit of his campaign spending, “generous credit terms” for his campaign from Doug Ford Holdings and the Ford family business, Deco Labels & Tags.
Apart from Tory, Ford and Stintz, here’s a breakdown of some of the rest of the mayoral candidates:
Founder and leader of the Nationalist Party of Canada, Don Andrews is a white supremacist. Andrews was featured in a Vice interview recently, We interviewed the white supremacist running for mayor of Toronto. Andrews has run for mayor several times, and in 1974 he came in a distant second when no serious contenders ran against incumbent mayor, David Crombie. Andrews will most likely drop out of the 2014 race as he is known to only run when his name appears first on the ballot. Currently candidate Said Aly is listed above him.
Billard is operating his campaign with zero-budget. President of OPSEU local 598 for the past three years, Billard also works at the Ontario Teacher’s Pension Plan. He has stated that would like more transparency at city hall and if elected mayor would work to de-amalgamate Toronto into its pre-1998 municipalities and install bylaws that would remove mayors and councillors in emergency situations.
Gardner is a former city councillor and chair of the Toronto Police Services Board. Gardner left municipal politics in 2003 but has decided to come out of retirement for the 2014 mayoral race. When submitting his nomination papers at Toronto City Hall, Gardner said his campaign is in its early stages, that he doesn’t have a team in place yet and that fundraising for the actual campaign will be a challenge.
Not that Al Gore. Gore was notably the second person to register for candidacy, after Rob Ford, on Jan. 2, although Gore maintains that Ford cut the line, forcing his way to the front. Gore runs on a “Rob Ford must go” platform. He also says that if elected he will approach Virgin Galactic, a British spaceflight company, to fly out of Pearson Airport.
Huang’s platform is that if Torontonians are going to waste their vote on someone, it might as well be him. He promises to do “something really small” if elected mayor.
Maxted ran for mayor before in the 2000 and 2006. 75 years old, Maxted advocates for the disabled and seniors. She also frequently wears a tiara during appearances.
In September of 2013, Vice interviewed Mernagh, titling the piece Meet the man who almost made weed legal in Canada. Outside of his marijuana activism, Mernagh calls himself a community organizer and builder, journalist and consensus builder. He is running on a platform that includes increasing community gardens, increasing the land transfer rebate and upping communication at City Hall.
A former city councillor, Soknacki came out retirement for the 2014 mayoral race. His campaign platform is to reduce gridlock for commuters and in city council. If elected, Soknacki is also promising more transparency in the mayoral office and to cut the red tape involved in Toronto’s business license system.
Saxophonist for Toronto-band The Shuffle Demons, Underhill is probably best known for the song 1986 song Spadina Bus. Outside of his work with the Shuffle Demons, Underhill is an accomplished musician. He is running on a platform of fiscal responsibility and social progression.