Swing to the right: it’s a whole new Toronto as Rob Ford and many right-wingers win offices at city hall
The election spanned 11 months, but counting the ballots took only a few minutes. At 8:08 p.m.—480 seconds after polls closed—CP24 declared that Rob Ford was the newly elected mayor of Toronto. Many pundits and polls predicted a late night and a tight race, but they were all proven wrong: Ford won handily with about 47 per cent of the vote, and Toronto’s rightward tilt was emphasized as a handful of prominent left-wing councillors or challengers went down in defeat. The results for Ford’s challengers more than prove it: George Smitherman nabbed 35.5 per cent; Joe Pantalone, just 12.
Aside from the mayor’s office, the biggest loss for the left was Sandra Bussin in Ward 32, where a serious anyone-but-Bussin campaign coalesced in the weeks before election night. This is a particular feather in the cap of the right (if the Toronto Sun had to choose between Ford’s win and Bussin’s loss, we’re not sure which it would have picked). In Ward 18, Ana Bailão beat out Adam Giambrone’s heir-designate Kevin Beaulieu amid accusations of dirty tricks on election day. Adrian Heaps was defeated in Ward 35 by long-time rival Michelle Berardinetti, showing, as with Bussin’s defeat, that councillors would do well to listen to city staff more often.
Of course, this is Toronto, so the election wasn’t a total wipeout for the left. Mike Layton, Kristin Wong-Tam and Sarah Doucette will all be new faces for the council’s left wing, but most of that new blood is just replacing outgoing left-wing councillors, leaving the balance of the night favouring the right.
The revellers-to-be started filing in to the Smitherman election night party at the Guverment well before 8 p.m. last night, but the reporters and cameramen seemed to outnumber them until just before the polls closed. In the moments after CP24 declared Rob Ford the mayor-elect, the bar started doing brisk business and a lone middle-aged woman could be heard wailing, “This can’t be, it just can’t be.”
Waiting for Smitherman to come out and concede, some of Toronto’s more prominent Liberals milled around: former Ontario Environment Minister Laurel Broten was spotted, as was former federal Liberal leader Bill Graham. But the shell-shocked atmosphere didn’t really start to fade until campaign volunteers started to crowd onto the stage and prepare for a concession speech from a candidate who had secured a smaller share of the vote than John Tory did in 2003.
“The people of Toronto have spoken, and tonight, my friends, they have sent a very clear message,” said Smitherman. It was a message that some of the people in the crowd weren’t quite ready to hear: after wishing the mayor-elect success, Smitherman had to shout down some boos from the crowd. “No, no, no. Toronto is too important. There are no boos tonight. We love our city.”
• New mayor, vastly different council [Toronto Star]
• Bussin defeat ‘end of era’ [Toronto Star]
• Ford, the win and the wards [Open File]
• New mayor, many new councillors in T.O. [Toronto Sun]
• Mayor-elect Ford, meet your fresh-faced council [Globe and Mail]
• Berardinetti wins re-match with Heaps [Toronto Sun]
14 thoughts on “Swing to the right: it’s a whole new Toronto as Rob Ford and many right-wingers win offices at city hall”
4 years of Ford… Sad to see our city in the hand of such person. He lures people with tax cuts. Wait and see the pot holes and city congestion since his all no bike, no street car and minimum public transit.
Good…Ford for Mayor..Smitherman can take a seat
Jaye Robinson beating Cliff Jenkins and Mary Fragdakis taking Case Ootes riding, should offset the above mentioned right gains
All the best, Toronto. 4 years of small thinking Ford will surely put us back back back. Take the marathons to high park / get rid of streetcars/ cut city services / ban all parades and no support for culture / lockdown TO to any more immigrants/ bringing all of TO together/ celebrate TO and welcome the world to PAN AM 2015.
Thank you Toronto. We screwed up for a $60 vechicle tax cut.
It’s quite hilarious how some sensationalists will project their ‘doom-and-gloom’ scenarios.
I don’t believe that Ford will be able to fulfill all of his promises, but if he can succeed in trimming down some of the outrageous spending, exercise some control over the unions and cut some of the ridiculously unnecessary taxes/fees that Torontonians have to deal with exclusively…then I will consider his term a success.
How is it possible to “lock out” the city to immigrants?!? What kind of crap are you spewing? Sensationalism at its best.
Obviously, Smitherman seems to appeal to the art community more and of course to the gay/lesbian population as well…but do you seriously think that we won’t have any parades/street festivals? Yes…the city may not provide as much funding to these activities…but it won’t stop organizers from finding financial support from more corporate/communitity entities. And that’s how it should be. People…the Taste of the Danforth festival, Luminato and Nuit Blanche always has and will still happen primarily because of their corporate spnsorship.
I don’t see city services getting worse or cut. We’ve got 44 councillors to make sure cuts don’t adversely affect their communities. Finding ways to streamline processes is not a bad thing. Your garbage will still get picked up on a weekly basis.
I couldn’t stand the thought of 4 years of Slitherman and his wasteful regime. A smooth talker he is…but a leader he is not. We need a leader.
josh matlow defeated chris sellors in michael walkers old ward — he’s left of centre for sure. also jane pitfield lost in her attempted in east york to replace case ootes, the winner is centre but not right, better than pitfield. josh colle won, and a few others — parkdale riding etc… definitely not a swing to the right at the council level as far as I can see. Even the sandra bussin replacement is also a community and eco activist. who wrote this? not very good
I’m sorry but wasn’t the woman who beat out Sandra Bussin just a little left of her in her leanings. I get how it’s a loss experience wise but not sure how the left suffers.
Dragana… u obviosuly never watched any of the debates to hear Ford’s review of TO and immigration into the city eh? I think this was what Critic was referring to. His intent was great to ensure we take care of our Toronto residents, he would look at stopping immigration into Toronto.
We should all sensationalize everything now, so he can prove us wrong and make the best Mayor we have ever had! Until then, HOPE is all we have!
It’s not possible to deny someone from living in a given city. As a mayor…he does not have the power to do that. You have read into the words incorrectly. Don’t be ridiculous. I heard the words…but I understand his intent. A city that cannot take care of its own existing residents cannot reliably take on other people from other places.
How about we give him a chance to do his job and set out his agenda before we jump up and down yelling and screaming all for nothing?!?
His intent is good. This city needs to work smarter and be more efficient in order to move forward. With a stronger, leaner city council, a smaller deficit and a renewed committment spending more carefully…Toronto can then start to grow. What’s so wrong with that?
You just swallowed the kool aid.
@ Dragana.. now you are the one taking things literally. Lighten up. And I obviously know he cant deny someone living in a city, I have a Phd. You are saying me and all the other diverse people in this city read incorrectly when he refused to turn up @ the 519 and meet with gays .. come on, dude… He won, he has my support now – do you think we have a chance.. his words are quite clear in no uncertain terms!
If Rob Ford is as bad as some of the people think, what’s wrong with that? We just came off 8 years of Miller time and what could be worse than that? Ridiculous Tax increase, reckless city staff salary increase, accommdating unions and TTC’s unreasonable requests at the expense of most Torontonians, building more streetcars to slow down the ever congesting traffic, building bikes lanes for less than 0.5% of the city residents…. Come on Ford, show me how you can do worse than this.
we’ve only seen his foolishness so far.
i’ve written a few things for him to consider and will send it to him.
i hope he does the right thing.
As a household that subscribes to the Toronto Star and Toronto Life I think your coverage of this election will make me cancel my subscription. The coverage of the Wards was woefully incomplete, inadequate and incorrect. Two or 3 lines/soundbites do not provide any useful information and are extremely biased. Nowhere more evident than in your description of Ward 25. I suppose a few of those dollars from winterlicious/summerlicious has biased the writer and paper to think someone whose career was with the City spent as a party planner represents(no real world experience) change.
Cliff Jenkins has represented Ward 25 exceptionally well these past 7 years. He has been one of those few coucillors that came to the job with private sector experience and many years of volunteer experience at the local level as president of his residents association. This combination of skills made him particularily successful. He is not on the right as you would so like to paint him to scare people over to your “prefered” candidate. It is too bad more people in our Ward didn’t take the time to look at his website and voting record but also meet him in person. His voting record shows his dedication to fiscal responsibility, preservation of neighbourhoods and responsible government.
Most importantly,Cliff Jenkins was a man of enormous kindness, impartiality and personal integrity that we don’t seem to see anymore and will be missed in Ward 25.
The again, perhaps Jaye has done a bigger favour to all of the residents of Toronto and has made Cliff available to put his skills to bigger and better things now.
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