Tory to enlist former mayoral rivals: 'We've got to bring the city together'
Toronto mayor-elect John Tory says he intends to reach out to his former election campaign rivals, including Olivia Chow and Doug Ford, when he takes over the city’s top political job.
Tory said he also wants to recruit former TTC Chair Karen Stintz and David Soknacki, both of whom dropped out of the mayoral race ahead of election day. He also said he’d approach Ari Goldkind, who participated in some mayoral debates during the campaign.
Soknacki was one of 19 people named to Tory’s Transition Advisory Council, which will be chaired by former councillor Case Ootes. Ootes was also in charge of Rob Ford’s transition team in 2010.
Other members of the team include Ryerson University President Sheldon Levy, CivicAction Chair Rod Phillips and Olympian Marnie McBean.
According to a news release, the team members will “provide advice” on three priority areas: transportation planning and Tory’s SmartTrack plan; congestion and gridlock; and housing.
Meanwhile, Christopher Eby has been named the mayor-elect’s chief of staff, while Vic Gupta was named principal secretary.
At a news conference outside city hall Tuesday afternoon, Tory said that he wants “all hands on deck to build up” Toronto.
“And I don’t think anybody’s point of view, anybody’s background, anybody’s history is going to be a bar to that in my books,” Tory said.
Tory said he’ll also seek advice from his predecessor in the mayor’s office, Rob Ford, who was elected Monday as a city councillor in Ward 2, Etobicoke North.
“We’re beginning the process, obviously, of reaching out to the members of council and talking to them, which I will do over the next couple of days,” Tory said.
Tory said he’s also begun doing “his homework,” which includes going over governance-related matters and various “issues that sit on the city’s plate at this point in time.”
“I want to put myself into this with every ounce of energy and determination I have and get the job done for people,” Tory said.
In an interview earlier Tuesday, the former leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative party said he’s hoping to leave partisan politics at the door to city hall.
“We’ve got to bring the city together and forget the team sweaters,” Tory said, later adding: “I want people to work together to build up the city and I’m quite prepared to take a good idea from a New Democrat or a Liberal, because we’re all there to do the same thing.”
Tory said his new council colleagues – including seven new faces -- “all got elected fair and square and now it’s my job to get the best out of them all in terms of their ideas.”