Former chief planner Jennifer Keesmaat registered to run for mayor on Friday afternoon, in the final moments before the 2 p.m. deadline for nominations.
“I am running for mayor because I believe we need bold ideas in this city. We need bold leadership and this is an opportunity – this is a unique moment in history when I believe bold ideas can make our city even more liveable, even more open, even more equitable and even more prosperous,” she said.
“I believe that we need strong leadership and a strong city council in order to continue to deliver. In changing times, we need changing leadership. My commitment to this city is to work incredibly hard, to be incredibly collaborative and to not be afraid to make the hard choices and decisions when bold leadership is, in fact, required,” Keesmaat told reporters.
At the end of her statement, one reporter asked if the former chief planner’s decision was prompted by Premier Doug Ford’s announcement to cut council almost in half.
“The only thing I’ll say is that ah – Mom and Dad, I’m so sorry I didn’t give you a heads-up about this. It was a very impromptu decision but one that comes deeply from my heart and passion for this city.”
Keesmaat is currently the chief executive officer of the Creative Housing Society and is a frequent contributor to CBC radio’s Metro Morning.