On Monday, voters in all 444 municipalities in Ontario headed to the polls to elect new municipal governments and school boards for the next four years.
John Tory clinched a third term as mayor of Toronto, Mark Sutcliffe was elected Ottawa’s next mayor, Patrick Brown was re-elected mayor of Brampton, and two former provincial party leaders – Andrea Horwath and Steven Del Duca – won their respective mayoral races in Hamilton and Vaughan.
Ontario municipal elections 2022: Who’s been elected where
Here’s a look at some highlights from the key mayoral races across the province.
John Tory re-elected in Toronto
Re-elected to a third term as Toronto mayor, John Tory plans to make housing a top priority but will also focus on mental health and addiction issues, as well as the failure of basic city services.
The 68-year-old will be the first Toronto mayor to exercise strong-mayor powers, which will give him a veto over city council in some cases. This may prove important given that the makeup of council shifted in this election, costing him a few reliable supporters.
“We’ve come so far over the past eight years, but we have unfinished business that I’m absolutely determined to see through,” Mr. Tory told his victory party Monday night.
His mayoralty continues amid major financial troubles in the city. Toronto is facing an estimated $850-million shortfall in its operating budget for the coming year. The capital backlog in repairs for roads, public transit and parks alone is projected to grow to about $13-billion over the next decade.
Mr. Tory garnered more than 60 per cent of the vote, while his closest competitor, Gil Penalosa, had about 18 per cent.
Marcus Gee: It’s time for Toronto’s mayor to step it up
The Globe and Mail’s Marcus Gee writes:
“If he completes the four-year term he won in Monday’s election, John Tory will have served as mayor of Toronto for longer than anyone else. He will surpass Art Eggleton’s record of 11 years in office and hold the mayor’s chair for 12. But whether he will be remembered as a truly important mayor is still an open question.
Torontonians are feeling frustrated and a little discouraged at the state of their city. Though it is still a dynamic, attractive place, it is fraying around the edges.
Steady as she goes won’t cut it. Mr. Tory will have to switch to a higher gear in his third term. With extra powers under the provincial government’s Strong Mayor legislation, he won’t be able to argue he is just one voice on city council. He is a veteran mayor with a fresh mandate. If he is to be remembered as a significant leader and not just a long-serving one, he needs to use it.”
Read his full column on John Tory.
Surprise landslide in Ottawa for Mark Sutcliffe
Ottawa’s municipal election was expected to be close in the race to replace Jim Watson, whose final year in office was overshadowed by the convoy that descended on the city earlier this year and complaints that the city and its police force were slow to act.
In the end, the result wasn’t even close, with entrepreneur and former journalist Mark Sutcliffe winning handily after a campaign that focused on fiscal restraint and criticizing bike lanes.
Mr. Sutcliffe garnered 51 per cent of the vote in early returns, easily defeating two-term councillor Catherine McKenney, who had won endorsements from a long list of progressives. Mx. McKenney had 38 per cent.
Brampton re-elects Patrick Brown
Patrick Brown’s first term as mayor of Brampton was a turbulent four years plagued by controversies, including allegations of misappropriating funds and an audit that found an “unfair advantage” was given to select companies during a study to bring a university to Brampton.
On top of that, he ran in the federal Conservative leadership race but was disqualified over allegations that a corporation was paying someone from his campaign.
Mr. Brown garnered about 60 per cent of the vote, compared with about 25 per cent for Nikki Kaur.
Ms. Kaur is a city planning director who gained the support of former mayor Linda Jeffrey and former councillors. She was also supported by conservative strategist Nick Kouvalis, who has served as an adviser to Premier Doug Ford.
Two former provincial leaders win
Mr. Ford’s two main competitors in the last provincial election – Andrea Horwath, who led the NDP, and Steven Del Duca, who led the Liberals – both narrowly won their respective mayoral races.
Ms. Horwath won in Hamilton, where she becomes the city’s first female mayor.
Results in Hamilton were delayed after problems at 12 polling stations prompted election officials to extend voting hours at those stations.
Mr. Del Duca defeated councillor Sandra Yeung Racco to become mayor of Vaughan.
Ms. Horwath and Mr. Del Duca resigned their positions as party leaders immediately after their provincial election losses in June.
Other interesting races
Ken Boshcoff won Thunder Bay’s mayoral election, returning after previously serving as mayor from 1997 to 2003. He was a Liberal MP from 2004 to 2008 and ran a failed bid for the mayor’s office in 2014.
Mr. Boshcoff will inherit a police force that has faced a long list of allegations, from corruption to poor treatment of Indigenous people.
Mayor Bonnie Crombie won again in Mississauga.
City councillor Josh Morgan won the mayoral race in London.
Port Colborne’s incumbent mayor, Bill Steele, won against his lone challenger – who also happens to be his brother, Charles Steele. Charles had said in interviews that he and his brother haven’t spoken in decades and that he simply put his name on the ballot so his brother would not run unopposed.
Mayor Gord Krantz narrowly secured a 14th term in Milton, where he is believed to be the country’s longest-serving mayor.
Ontario voter turnout
Not every municipality has released voter turnout figures – and even in the ones that have, the numbers are preliminary and could change – but Monday night’s elections appear to be the latest to suffer from poor participation.
In Toronto, about 552,000 votes were cast. The city has more than 1.89 million eligible voters, which means the turnout could be as low as 29 per cent. That is well below the 769,000 ballots cast in 2018, when that amounted to 41 per cent.
Ottawa was reporting a voter turnout of 44 per cent; Brampton, 24 per cent. Turnout was listed at 35 per cent in Hamilton, 20 per cent in Kitchener, 18 per cent in Oshawa, 30 per cent in Barrie, 28 per cent in Guelph, and 27 per cent in Vaughan.
The same trend has been happening at all levels of government across the country, but it’s typically worse in local elections. For example, B.C. held local elections this month, and voter turnout in Vancouver was about 36 per cent, 32 per cent in Surrey and 37 per cent in Victoria.
With reports from The Canadian Press