News, Politics

Toronto’s Confusing And Surprising Mayoral Race

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Rob Ford (left) and Doug Ford at a Toronto City Budget Meeting in 2013. Image: Toronto Star, Bernard Weil
Rob Ford (left) and Doug Ford at a Toronto City Budget Meeting in 2013. Image: Toronto Star, Bernard Weil

Politics doesn’t get much more interesting–or confusing–than the Mayoral election that is happening in Toronto.

Torontonians go to the polls to elect a new Mayor on Oct. 27.

The current mayor, Rob Ford, has become known around the world for some bad behaviour including drinking too much. Earlier this year he went to a type of hospital for help with his drinking problem.

He was running for re-election (in other words, he wanted to be elected as mayor again).

The people running against him include John Tory and Olivia Chow. There are others, but those two are generally considered the front-runners—the people who have a shot at winning.

John Tory is a businessman who used to be the leader of Ontario’s Progressive Conservative Party and he was an MPP (Member of Provincial Parliament). He ran for mayor in 2003 but came in second to David Miller.

Olivia Chow is a long-time politician. She was an MP (Member of Parliament) in the federal government (2006-2014) and she used to be a Toronto city councillor (1991-2005). She was also the wife of the leader of the NDP, Jack Layton (our story about his funeral is here).

Rob Ford was also running for mayor. However, he started having pains and doctors discovered he has a tumour in his stomach. This may mean that he is sick or it may be something he can easily recover from—doctors are still doing tests. In either case, he will need some recovery time and doctors told him he wouldn’t be able to campaign.

Rob Ford withdrew from (quit) the mayoral race on Friday, Sept. 12.

Sept. 12 was the last day on which people could decide to join the race for mayor. On that day, the same day Rob Ford quit, his brother—Doug Ford—joined the race. Doug Ford has been the city councillor for Ward 2, Etobicoke North on Toronto City Council.

So now Toronto voters will have to decide between John Tory, Olivia Chow and Doug Ford for mayor—as well as more than 65 other candidates (none of whom is likely to even be close to the front runners).

Rob Ford is now running for election as the councillor for Ward 2. If he wins, it means that he would be on City Council but would not be mayor. (Another interesting point, Rob Ford’s nephew, Michael Ford, had been running for Ward 2 councillor but he quit when Rob Ford decided to run for that position. Michael Ford is now running for school trustee for the Toronto District School Board.)

Whoever wins, one thing is for sure—Toronto politics sure is interesting.

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS
By Kathleen Tilly and Joyce Grant

Writing/Discussion Prompt
The election isn’t until October 27, yet the reporter said that out of more than 65 candidates, there are only three who will likely be mayor. How does she know that?

Reading Prompt: Demonstrating Understanding
In the paragraphs about Olivia Chow and John Tory, several levels of Canadian government are mentioned: federal (Canada), provincial (Ontario) and municipal (Toronto).

Draw lines to match the items in the left-hand column to the correct titles in the right-hand column:

Federal                                Councillor

Provincial                           Member of Parliament (MP)

Municipal                           Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP)

Junior
Demonstrate understanding of a variety of texts by summarizing important ideas and citing supporting details (OME, Reading: 1.4).

Intermediate
Demonstrate understanding of increasingly complex texts by summarizing important ideas and citing a variety of details that support the main idea (OME, Reading: 1.4)

Language Prompt: Parentheses
Parentheses are also called brackets. They are used for a variety of reasons but one is to add or explain information. For example, the following sentence demonstrates this: “So now Toronto voters will have to decide between John Tory, Olivia Chow and Doug Ford for mayor—as well as more than 65 other candidates (none of whom is likely to even be close to the front runners).”

This article includes a lot of information in parentheses. How does this information help you to understand the article? How would the article be different without this information?