Toronto council races end with same percentage of women on council (and that’s only half the number of men)

Oct. 22, 2018

By Arianne Robinson

Toronto’s new smaller city council will have the same percentage of women as last term, which is still only half the number of men representing residents of Toronto. Out of the four non-incumbent councillors that were elected on Monday, two are women.

At the end of the 2018 term, 14 out of 44 councillors were women (31.8 per cent). After Monday’s vote, women make up eight of 25 members of city council (32 per cent).

On the city’s east side in Scarborough North, Cynthia Lai won in the open race. At debates earlier this month Lau was confident. “It’s about time we get moving,” said Cynthia Lai, telling the crowd she was past president of the Toronto Real Estate Board. “I believe that in any first-class city you have to build transit. If you don’t build transit, you [do not] deserve to be called a first-class city. Scarborough has been so neglected with a subway, and the Sheppard extension is way overdue.”

Jennifer McKelvie defeated Nathan Shan, who was elected in Scarborough Rouge-Park in a by-election in February 2017 after Raymond Cho left to run as an MPP with the Progressive Conservative party. In response to Signal Toronto’s candidate questionnaire, McKelvie wrote her reason for running: “I want to see a Scarborough-specific strategic plan so that we can create more opportunities for Scarborough residents to work close to home.”

McKelvie was an environmental geoscientist and community volunteer, with professional experience in infrastructure planning and public engagement. She won by 154 votes. As described in her response to the questionnaire, the theme song for her election campaign, was “U Can’t Touch This” by MC Hammer.

The two other non-incumbent councillors are Brad Bradford in Beaches-East York, who was endorsed by mayor elect John Tory, and Mike Colle in Eglinton Lawrence, a former MPP and father of Josh Colle, who was TTC Chair and councillor for part of the new ward in the last term.

The six incumbent female city councillors are Frances Nunziata, Ana Bailão, Jaye Robinson, Kristyn Wong-Tam, Paula Fletcher and Shelley Carroll.

The fifteen incumbent male city councillors are Michael Ford, Stephen Holyday, Mark Grimes, Anthony Perruzza, Gord Perks, Joe Cressy, Mike Layton, James Pasternak, Josh Matlow, Gary Crawford, Michael Thompson, Jim Karygiannis, Paul Ainslie, Denzil Minnan-Wong and John Filion.