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It's official: Olivia Chow enters Toronto mayoral race

Her campaign CFO submitted her papers at Toronto City Hall on Wednesday, officially joining the race.

Olivia Chow resigned her seat in Parliament Wednesday to launch her bid to replace Rob Ford as mayor of the country's largest city.

Chow made her entry into the mayoralty race official by filing her nomination papers hours after her resignation.

She is expected to hold her campaign kickoff Thursday in the inner city neighbourhood of St. James Town, where she grew up.

Chow is already considered a front-runner in the race that includes one-time provincial Conservative leader and failed mayoral candidate John Tory, city councillor Karen Stintz and infamous incumbent Rob Ford.

When asked about the threat Chow poses, Ford said he couldn't wait for October's municipal election.

``I'll put my proven track record of saving taxpayers' money and customer service against anyone any day. Let the people decide,'' said the controversial mayor who was stripped of most of his powers late last year after a series of personal scandals.

``My people are strong. My Ford Nation people aren't budging and we're doing great. I can't wait, it's going to get interesting.''

Jamey Heath, who will be communications director for Chow's campaign, said the former NDP MP will be the only ``progressive'' contender in the already crowded field.

But he predicted she'll appeal to people across the political spectrum, including the blue-collar folks who supported Ford's no-nonsense populism but who can be persuaded it's time for a change following Ford's admitted ``drunken stupors'' and use of crack cocaine.

``We think there are two candidates who can appeal to sort of blue-collar, regular voters in Toronto, one of whom is Rob Ford and one of whom is Olivia Chow,'' Heath said.

``We don't see John Tory being able to connect with them. We think Olivia can.''

Chow's campaign launch will stress her personal story, growing up in Toronto as the daughter of struggling immigrant parents, a story Heath said many Torontonians can identify with.

Chow served as a Toronto city councillor from 1991 until she was elected to the House of Commons in 2006 in a Toronto riding.

Her departure from Parliament was greeted with ``mixed emotions'' from federal NDP leader Tom Mulcair, who said his party's loss is Toronto's gain.   

``Olivia Chow is a fighter who will always defend the public's interest first and foremost,'' he said.

``I thank her wholeheartedly for her constant support and her important contributions to making Canada a fairer, more prosperous country.''

Chow's campaign will involve New Democrats like Heath and Brian Topp, who were key to her late husband Jack Layton's success in the federal arena.   

But it will be headed by veteran Conservative strategist John Laschinger, who masterminded David Miller's successful mayoral campaigns, while her war room will be run by Warren Kinsella, a well-known Liberal.

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  1. Frankie posted on 03/12/2014 07:12 AM
    Lord help us if she wins. She'll make Miller look fiscally conservative. She's done nothing and has nothing useful to offer.
    1. Jim posted on 03/12/2014 07:50 AM
      @Frankie With Chow as Mayor the City of Toronto had better learn a few words in a hurry, tax, bankruptcy, tax, deficit, tax, debt, tax and so on. Problem is John Tory won't be much better. He seems to think because he can afford to pay more that everyone else can too. And Rob Ford, if he could control his personal life, well enough said there.

      Problem is with Ford, Tory and Stintz splitting the right and center-right vote Chow is almost a lock to win. Ford or Tory has to get out to avoid this fate. My choice would be bye, bye Tory the Tax Bringer.
  2. Frankie posted on 03/12/2014 07:15 AM
    The worst possible choice for mayor!
    1. Sonny posted on 03/12/2014 10:16 AM
      @Frankie Rob strolls into work mid day pass the Media. Ford cut services and staff. Raised your property taxes 2.5%, 2.0% & 2.23% the last 3 budgets. ALL of his administration's budgets have been greater than any of Miller's; the one's with gravy?!
  3. HP posted on 03/12/2014 08:20 AM
    Chow will represent all of Toronto, unlike Ford ignoring the 416'ers, Tory representing the 1%'ers, and the others who have little chance of winning. Toronto's focus has to be to get rid of Ford, then decide who will represent all of us.

    We know that all candidates will have some fiscal responsibility, it's just a matter of what their priorities will be. Personally, I'd like Toronto to regain it's reputation as a clean, safe city that works and get rid of the hate, ugliness, dirt, and crime that Ford allowed to creep into what was once a city the was envied by all North Americans. We were once voted the #2 city in the world, sadly that's long gone because of the Ford brothers that know only slash and burn policies but have no concept of how a city must work. It's about the quality of life, not politicizing our standard of living.
    1. Sojbee posted on 03/12/2014 09:12 AM
      @HP Rubbish!!
    2. Frankie posted on 03/12/2014 09:22 AM
      @HP No candidate truly represents the whole city. Toronto's reputation isn't tarnished; it's a myth perpetrated by the anti-Ford crowd. If you really believe people won't visit because of Ford you are easily brainwashed, just as the Ontario Liberal voters.

      Comments about Tory representing the 1%ers are equally nonsensical.

      Chow is a nobody who's demonstrated nothingness.

      Sadly, voters treat elections like TV reality contests rather than treating them with the seriousness they deserve.
  4. Sam posted on 03/12/2014 08:22 AM
    give em hell Olivia
  5. Dean posted on 03/12/2014 09:11 AM
    If you work an honest job to provide for your family, then Chow's vision for Toronto is her slapping you in the face, stealing your wallet, and using it to buy every addict in Toronto a brand new bong every two weeks for four years.

    ABC: Anyone But Chow.
  6. Sojbee posted on 03/12/2014 09:16 AM
    Waiting to see what this woman has done to help the city thus far. i work hard for my money, and no way is she going to tax me to hell to fund her social fantasies!

    I will have to be very strategic as to where i park my vote now; Ford or Tory... \I wait and see, no rush to make a decision now, and hopefully someone will drop out
    1. ted posted on 03/13/2014 12:18 PM
      @Sojbee Here's a tip: 40% of the city is already voting for Ford. "Ford nation" is not about to ever switch to the two liberals Stinkz and Tory. So you can either accept that and go with Ford, or reject that an accept Chow as Mayor. Simple really.
  7. Alex posted on 03/12/2014 10:29 AM
    Rob Fords other media supporter the Toronto Sun is owned and operated by Quebec Separatists

    An anti Canada media has no credibility with regards to what is best for Canada.
    What a proper fit with Rob Fords poor behaviour..
    1. SojBee posted on 03/12/2014 11:44 AM
      @Alex Actually he owns shares in the company. And he is not currently running the company. He ran it for 14 years.

      Its also rather silly to link Rob Ford with the Separatists... its actually laughable!!

      Olivia chow on the other hand, was rather concerned about what the Chinese thought about Toronto, as she opined in China late last year. Seriously, I care about what China thinks? You may as well string the Russians in there as well - both nations are in consequential when it comes to their image of us... Rob Ford or not!!
    2. HP posted on 03/12/2014 01:16 PM
      @Alex You're behind the times. The Toronto Sun no longer supports Ford, ran an editorial the other day that says we need to get rid of Ford.
  8. Frankie posted on 03/12/2014 12:34 PM
    I hear she'll be on John Moore tomorrow morning. I'll keep my vomit bag next to me.

    Here are questions I'd ask her -

    Why did you run away from living in social housing when you were outed if you believed it was such a good idea?

    Which of your relatives live on the Toronto Islands at a rental cost of about 1¢ on the dollar?

    Why was your husband given a pass by police and the crown when he got caught in a rub and tug?

    What have YOU actually done for this city when you were a councillor?

    Will you be reverting the garbage contract back to public employees so your mother can count on her 9:00 AM pickup?

    Will you go back to being a federal politician when you lose the election?

    How much can we pay you to go away?
  9. john posted on 03/12/2014 12:42 PM
    hmm a liberal helping out a NDP to get into the mayors char . hmm interesting .
    1. Karl Burgin posted on 03/13/2014 12:19 PM
      @john it's more like "hmmm. sounds familiar..."
  10. Mark posted on 03/12/2014 08:02 PM
    I hear extreme rabid lefty Warren Kinsella is little Olivia's campaign manager. Based on his poor record at this job she has no chance to win. Seems to me that all Warren is good at is flinging mud at others.
    1. Frankie posted on 03/12/2014 08:35 PM
      @Mark I heard 1010 commentators suggesting he's not above dirty tricks. I hope he gets caught and Olivia gets tarnished.
  11. tight lips posted on 03/12/2014 09:28 PM
    Her announcement will be made from the steps of St. Simon the Apostate on Bloor Street East tomorrow--how right--The Anglicans are the NDP at Prayer.
  12. Cynthia posted on 03/13/2014 09:23 AM
    Considering the fact that Chow has only ever lived off the public purse and never had a job that required working or getting fired, she is a little one sided in her outlook.

    Maybe we can put up a "statue" beside the one of her equally useless husband. She, along with her son, have been on the public purse as tagalongs of her husband for far too long. Let her be content to be on the Federal purse. She has already cost us too much and with various pensions well into the future.
  13. Ted posted on 03/13/2014 12:13 PM
    No one needs this crooked communist running the city.
  14. john posted on 03/19/2014 02:51 PM
    ant no commies ruing in my country . uck that .
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