Tory on his love of the Toronto Maple Leafs and hopes for a more diverse council in 2018

10:26 a.m., Dec. 18, 2017. President of Toronto Maple Leafs Brendan Shanahan (left) stands with Mayor John Tory outside the skating rink at Nathan Phillips Square the day before “Toronto Maple Leafs Day.”

Dec. 18, 2017

By Arianne Robinson

Pictured with Toronto’s Old City Hall behind him, Mayor John Tory stood with Leafs president Brendan Shanahan to proclaim Dec. 19, 2017, as “Toronto Maple Leafs Day.”

“I’ve always loved the Toronto Maple Leafs and whenever they were doing their best, which they always were, I preferred to look at myself as a long-hoping or long-anticipating Toronto Maple Leafs fan,” Tory said, calling the current roster a “young exciting team.”

The possibility of a Leafs championship wasn’t the only legacy shake-up on the mayor’s mind. Tory also spoke about encouraging a diverse range of candidates in the next municipal election, happening October 2018.

“I’m encouraging publicly, and will continue to do so, women, people from racialized communities and others to come forward and make sure this council is more representative than the ones that have gone before.”

The mayor’s comments were in response to a question about the announcement of candidacy of Ausma Malik, a Muslim school-board trustee in Toronto’s downtown west-end.

“Yesterday [Sunday], Ausma Malik announced that she’s going to run for city council. You’ve talked before about council being more reflective of diversity and makeup; what are your thoughts on a Muslim woman running?” a reporter asked the mayor.

Tory said he did not want to comment on any individual, but said the increase of three seats to council provides an opportunity for more diversity on council.

As for 2018 endorsements, Tory left the possibility open, but said he will not be grooming a large number of candidates.

“It might be the case that I endorse a couple of people again, but I don’t have any intention, as my predecessors have not done, of going out and having some big slate that amounts to the introduction of a kind of a party politics into city hall. I think that’s not the way this place works best.”

Doug Ford, former councillor, mayoral candidate and brother of the late Rob Ford, is the only other person to formally announce their candidacy for Toronto mayor in 2018. Desmond Cole, an activist in the Black Lives Matter movement and former Toronto Star columnist, told CBC’s Metro Morning last week that he has not ruled out the possibility of running.