Tue | Mar 28, 2023

Ja-born Mitzie Hunter joins Toronto mayoral race

Published:Saturday | March 18, 2023 | 12:24 AMSophia Findlay/Gleaner Writer
MPP Mitzie Hunter
MPP Mitzie Hunter
From left: Award recipients, Karla Avis- Birch, Selam Debs,Taijah Cox-Armstrong, Chantae Robinson, and Marie Clarke Walker.
From left: Award recipients, Karla Avis- Birch, Selam Debs,Taijah Cox-Armstrong, Chantae Robinson, and Marie Clarke Walker.

Mitzie Hunter, Ontario Liberal MPP for Scarborough-Guildwood, is to run for mayorship of the city of Toronto.

The former Cabinet minister, made the announcement at the Jamaican Canadian Association Women’s Committee International Women’s Day celebration 2023 saying “you’re my people. Are we Jamaicans!? And I am yours, so I really want you to hear it from me that I am preparing to run.”

There had been speculation in the media recently that Hunter, along with other high-profile individuals, are likely contenders for the spot left vacant by the resignation of former mayor John Tory.

Tory took office as mayor in December 2014 having beaten Doug Ford. The 68-year old was re-elected in 2018 and secured a third term in office four years later. Tory resigned last month after admitting to having an affair with a 31-year-old staff member at city hall, whom he did not name.

Addressing a roomful of women who gave her a thunderous applause at the development, Hunter said, “I already have a seat so I’m not doing it to gain a seat, but I grew up in this city, Scarborough, and I know that in order for our province and our country to succeed Toronto has to succeed. We have to work here for the whole nation to work. So, what I have to say to you is that I am preparing, I am listening, and I am getting ready to announce, so I wanted you to hear it from me. I couldn’t come to this room without sharing my heart with you,” she concluded.

Meanwhile, four trailblazing women were presented with this year’s ‘Women Who Inspire Change’ awards.

They are Taijah Cox-Armstrong, youth community leader and an instructor at the Learning Place and student programme executive at OSFirst Healthcare; Chantae Robinson, president of the Afro-Heritage Association of Sudbury (AHA) and co-founder of the Northern Ontario Black Economic Empowerment Program (NOBEEP); Karla Avis-Birch, chief planning officer at Metrolinx; and Selam Debs, an anti-racism educator and founder of Juici Yoga.

Marie Clarke Walker, past secretary/treasurer of the Canadian Labour Congress, who hadn’t received hers officially, was an honoree, as well.

Odette Thornhill, who has a doctorate in natural medicine, was keynote speaker at the 23rd annual women’s event. Thornhill spoke passionately on this year’s International Women’s Day theme, Embrace Equity, encouraging women to self-care and engage in equity sharing.

Camile Hannays-King, JCA’s Women’s Committee chair, and JCA president, David Betty, made brief remarks on behalf of their portfolios.