Key races to watch in municipal elections across Ontario as results trickle in

Results are coming in for municipal elections across Ontario. Here are the winners of some notable mayoral races:

Ottawa

Former journalist Mark Sutcliffe will take over the city’s top job from outgoing mayor Jim Watson. Sutcliffe, 54, defeated his closest challenger, Coun. Catherine McKenney, who rose to prominence during the “Freedom Convoy” protests in February, as well as former Ottawa mayor and provincial cabinet minister Bob Chiarelli. The province recently granted “strong mayor” powers to both Toronto and Ottawa in the interest of getting more housing built quickly, but Sutcliffe has said he is not interested in the veto to override council.

Toronto

John Tory secured a third term as mayor of the country’s most populous city following a campaign that saw him weather criticisms of his record and the state of Toronto. Tory pitched himself as an experienced and steady hand as he beat out 30 opponents, including his closest challenger, progressive urbanist Gil Penalosa. Penalosa’s campaign had hit on the themes of parks and public spaces, road safety and affordable housing, among other topics. Tory, 68, has committed to tackling the major issues of housing cost and availability, affordability and transit. He’s also said he supports strong mayor powers in order to get more housing built.

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Brampton

Incumbent mayor Patrick Brown was elected to a second term in Brampton after his first stint in office saw him face some turbulent times. Brown first secured the city’s top job in 2018 after stepping down as leader of the provincial Progressive Conservatives amid sexual misconduct allegations that he denies. As mayor, he faced allegations of financial and contract irregularities and a council sharply divided by pro- and anti-Brown allegiances. Brown nonetheless garnered significantly more votes than his main contender, Nikki Kaur, a former municipal employee who brought forward unverified allegations as a whistleblower against top city officials.

Woodstock

Incumbent mayor Trevor Birtch, who ran again despite facing sexual assault charges involving two women, experienced a massive defeat in Woodstock. Birtch received less than four per cent of the vote. Challenger Jerry Acchione won the mayor’s seat with a narrow margin of less than two per cent over the next closest candidate, David Hilderley.

Milton

Gord Krantz narrowly secured a 14th term as mayor of this Greater Toronto Area municipality, where he is believed to be the country’s longest-serving mayor. Krantz beat out challenger Zee Hamid by less than 1,000 votes and less than 50 per cent of the total vote, significantly less than in 2018, when he garnered 82 per cent of the vote.

&© 2022 The Canadian Press

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