Mayoral races: Brown running in Brampton, Keesmaat in Toronto
Former chief planner Jennifer Keesmaat has registered to run for mayor of Toronto and former PC party leader Patrick Brown is running for mayor in Brampton.
Keesmaat told a CP24 reporter while in line at City Hall to register that she is indeed planning to run against John Tory in the Oct. 22 election. The race has not attracted any other high-profile candidates.
“There’s time when we need to stand up for our city. There are times when many of the wonderful things we use every day like transit or parks, when these things are in fact potentially compromised. I am running because I believe we need bold ideas in this city, we need bold leadership,” Keesmaat said.
Premier Doug Ford’s plan to reduce the size of Toronto City council and end regional chair races in Peel, York, Niagara and Muskoka regions appears to have prompted a flurry of entrants into local races across the GTA.
Ford announced that he will table a bill that, if passed, would reduce the number of seats on Toronto City Council from 47 to 25 —aligning them with existing provincial and federal riding boundaries. The legislation would also revert regional chair races to appointed positions.
Brown announced earlier this month that he would run to becomethe elected chair of Peel Region.
With that race now eliminated, Brownis eyeing another elected post. While at Brampton city hall on Friday, he told CTV News Toronto is running for mayor against incumbent Linda Jeffrey.
“My dad’s been practicing law in Brampton for 40 years and before I was an MP I practiced law there as well. I am excited to come back to my roots and try and do good things for the city that produced the great Bill Davis,” Brown told CTV News Toronto.
When asked, Jeffrey suggested Brown has changed plans so often it was becoming hard to follow.
“I saw him a few months ago when he was running for the (Ontario PC) leadership, then he came around to talk to me about running for leader of regional council and now he’s running to be the mayor of Brampton so I think he needs to make up his mind as to what he wants to do.”
Brown replied that Jeffrey should stick to her record.
“Any candidate who has to resort to personal attacks on other candidates, frankly is an example of not being proud of her own record,” Brown told reporters. “If the mayor was proud of her own record on public safety in Brampton, on jobs in Brampton,on gridlock in Brampton, she’d be talking about that.”
The former federal Barrie MP and ex-PC leader was forced out of provincial politics earlier this year after two women accused him of sexual misconduct.
He rejects the accusations and is suing CTV News for defamation for first reporting the allegations.
Keesmaat was Toronto’s chief planner from 2012 to 2017. She then led the non-profit Creative Housing Society, aimed at building more rental housing in Toronto and Vancouver.
The deadline to file nomination papers in any of the Ontario municipal races was 2 p.m. on Friday. The deadline for Toronto city councilors however, has been extended to September 14.