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These are the top moments from CP24's Toronto mayoral debate

The seven leading candidates in Toronto’s mayoral race squared off in a debate hosted by CP24 Thursday night.

With Election Day on June 26, roughly two weeks away, and some voters still left undecided, mayoral hopefuls shared their stance on a variety of topics from how they will address the homelessness and affordable housing crisis in Toronto to transit and safety on the TTC.

Here are tonight’s top moments from the mayoral debate.

What is the most Toronto thing about Toronto?

Each candidate had a different response to the question, what is the quintessential Toronto thing?

Brad Bradford took it as an opportunity to speak on city council’s “inability to make a decision,” Mitzie Hunter noted the city’s natural beauty that needs to be cared for, while Olivia Chow spoke on Toronto’s diversity.

Mark Saunders and Josh Matlow echoed Chow’s sentiments by pointing to the city’s multiculturalism, Ana Bailao noted Toronto’s “opportunity that it gives to people,” while Anthony Furey said it’s the sports teams – particularly the Jays.

Matlow slams Hunter’s platform as ‘unicorns in the streets paved with gold’

Hunter and Matlow went head-to-head all throughout the night, but it reached a boiling point when Matlow called her platform “magical.”

“It is unicorns in the streets paved with gold, it is not real,” he said.

Hunter quickly countered, asking, “Have you read it? Have you read the 70 pages?”

Which candidates used artificial intelligence to create images or craft messages for their campaigns?

Furey previously acknowledged his use of AI-generated images for his campaign platform, after a three-armed person appeared in his campaign materials, but what about the other leading candidates?

The majority of candidates said they had not, while Hunter said someone on her team used ChatGPT with her knowledge – but always fact checks her information.

Rogers' exclusive deal with the TTC to provide cell service

“Customers of one company shouldn’t be exclusive to have safety and reliability in the TTC,” Matlow said.

Hunter interjected and challenged Matlow to say he was on council when it approved that deal.

Meanwhile, Bradford said the real issue is the ridership the transit system needs back, and Chow thinks the CRTC should force Rogers to give everyone access.

Candidates crosstalk during an open debate of Toronto’s housing affordability crisis

NEWSTALK1010’s John Moore reminds candidates, as they spoke over one another on their affordable housing plans, that he was once a pre-school teacher.

“Don’t make me break out the parachute,” Moore quipped, with CP24’s Leena Latafat backing up that “he will.”

Hunter criticized Bailao’s record as Toronto’s deputy mayor

“These people who were at city hall are asking for a promotion after creating this mess,” Hunter said. “This does not make any sense at all.”

The two were discussing public safety when Bailao’s tenure as Toronto’s deputy mayor, which she served from 2017 to 2022, came up to the forefront.

Matlow says city can’t “arrest its way” out of public safety

On the topic of public safety, Matlow says more needs to be done than arresting “our way” out of the city’s societal problems, arguing the root of the problem needs to be addressed first.

Furey argued there are not adequate resources to respond to those “dangerous, violent calls.”

Where was the last vacation the candidates took?

In a lightning round series of questions and answers, the mayoral candidates were asked where they went for their last vacation.

Some went abroad with Matlow in Portugal, Bailao in Costa Rica, and Hunter in Jamaica.

Others kept it local, with Furey having visited Prince Edward County and Saunders to “the fantastic Niagara Falls.”

Matlow disparaged Saunders on privatizing Ontario Place

The controversial topic of the redevelopment of Ontario Place was brought up, with Matlow slamming Saunders for taking a “pay cheque from Doug Ford to privatize Ontario Place.”

The former Toronto police chief was appointed as the special advisor for Ontario Place's redevelopment, where he provided guidance to the Premier.

Saunders could be heard quietly saying, “I wish that was all true,” as Matlow continued to say he would stand up for the Greenbelt.

Who is a Toronto figure, dead or alive, that candidates admire?

Saunders, Bailao, and Bradford nodded to their loved ones and family members in response to the question.

Hunter applauded Toronto Raptors President Masai Ujiri, since he brought the 2019 NBA Championship win to the city, and Furey pointed to the late Rob Ford who stood up “for the little guy” when he was in office.

What is the first thing each candidate would accomplish in their first 100 days in office, if elected?

Each mayoral hopeful shared their top priorities in office, with many focusing on affordable housing, and transit safety. Top Stories

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