Photo above: Among African-Canadian supporters of mayoral candidate, John Tory (right) are Bernice Carnegie and Jojo Chintoh. Photo by Lincoln Depradine.
By Lincoln Depradine
Pride Contributing Writer
TORONTO, Ontario – With only days remaining before polling, front-running mayoral candidate and former provincial Conservative Party leader, John Tory, has received the backing of a prominent group of Black Canadians – many of them traditional NDP and Liberal Party members and supporters – in his run for the Toronto mayor’s job.
“Toronto really does need John Tory to serve as its mayor now!’’ declared Jamaica-born Mary Anne Chambers, the former Ontario Liberal MPP and cabinet minister.
She was among the group of Canadians originally from the Caribbean and Africa, or who were born in this country, that met — at a Toronto restaurant, last Sunday — with Tory to endorse his leadership bid for mayor.
Other prominent African-Canadians to have earlier endorsed Tory include another former Liberal MPP, Alvin Curling, who also served as a provincial minister and Speaker of the Ontario Legislature; B. Denham Jolly, former President and CEO of Canada’s first Black radio station, FLOW 93.5FM; and Audrey Walters, vice president of the Jamaican Canadian Association and a former president and co-founder the Jane-Finch Concerned Citizens Organization (JFCCO).
Municipal elections for mayor of Toronto and other cities, councillors and school board trustees will be held Monday, October 27.
“I believe John Tory’s leadership will help to restore the reputation of the City Toronto. And, I believe that he will work others – all of us – to take this city to even better place,’’ said Chambers, who was one of many speakers that included Pauline Christian of the Black Business and Professional Association; and representatives of Planet Africa Group and the Nigerian Yoruba community.
Rosemary Sadlier said she couldn’t endorse Tory’s campaign on behalf of the Ontario Black History Society, which she heads as president. But, as an individual, Sadlier is backing Tory, describing him as someone who is interested in the community’s concerns.
Her sentiment was shared by Future Aces’ co-founder and senior consultant Bernice Carnegie who said Tory, for many years, had been a friend of her late father, hockey great Dr Herb Carnegie.
Tory is the mayor the City of Toronto deserves, said former CitytV reporter Jojo Chintoh.
“Let’s get him elected; let’s get out and vote,’’ he urged.
Retired educator and former CARIBANA chairman, Lennox Farrell, admitted that his and Tory’s politics “may not be the same’’.
However, Farrell is supporting Tory for mayor, saying he trusts the candidate’s “instincts and sensibility’’.
“You have the wind at your back,’’ Farrell told Tory, who was accompanied to the event by his wife, sister and a niece.
Tory, a lawyer and businessman, reiterated that one of the reasons for offering himself as Toronto mayor is to “bring the city together’’, and to ensure “nobody is left out and all are included’’.
“There are far too many people who are left behind,’’ he said.