Olivia Chow wins election as Toronto’s first Chinese-Canadian mayor

Olivia Chow was elected as the first Chinese-Canadian mayor of Toronto on Monday, vowing to pursue a more progressive approach in Canada’s largest city after a decade of conservative control.

Chow, who was born in Hong Kong and won against a record field of 102 candidates, has promised to hike property taxes and do more to help tenants in order to address the city’s housing affordability crisis.

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Chow emphasized “the mandate for change” that voters in Canada’s economic capital had given her in her acceptance address Monday evening.

“If you ever doubted what’s possible together, if you ever questioned your faith in a better future and what we can do with each other, for each other, tonight is your answer,” she told supporters shortly after the announcement of her victory.

Chow received 37.2 percent of the vote, while Ana Bailao received 32.5 percent. Former New York City Police Chief Mark Saunders finished third with 8.6 percent.

Chow, an immigrant who arrived in Canada when he was 13, takes over as mayor of Toronto at a time when the city of 2.7 million is grappling with rising rents, a major budget deficit, and public safety issues.

John Tory, Toronto’s last mayor, resigned in February after confessing to having an extramarital affair with an employee.

During the campaign, Ontario Premier Doug Ford backed Saunders, calling a Chow victory a “unmitigated disaster.”

However, on Monday evening, Ford congratulated Chow on her election as Mayor of Toronto.

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