John Tory has resigned as mayor of Toronto, now what?

Photo by: Brenden Gab Gould

On Wednesday, Feb. 15, Toronto mayor John Tory announced his resignation from the office, effective Friday, Feb. 17 at 5 p.m. 

The resignation announcement followed Tory’s disclosure of his affair with a former staff member from his office. 

“I want to thank the people of Toronto for trusting me as Mayor since 2014. I continue to be deeply sorry and apologize unreservedly to the people of Toronto and to all those hurt by my actions without exception,” wrote Tory in his official resignation letter.

Toronto city clerk John D. Elvidge, who received Tory’s official resignation, confirmed that he is working with deputy mayor Jennifer McKelvie and the city manager to figure out the next steps. 

According to the City of Toronto Act, a by-election must be called during the next city council meeting, scheduled for March 29. Following this, the city clerk has set deadlines for when candidates will be able to file their nomination papers, with the Municipal Elections Act detailing that an election day must be held 45 days after the nomination deadline.

Elvidge has subsequently set the following dates: nominations for the by-election will open on Monday, April 3 at 8:30 a.m. and will close on Friday, May 12 at 2 p.m.; advance voting will take place from Thursday, June 8 to Tuesday, June 13; the by-election will be held on Monday, June 26.

Although dates typically do not precede the council’s passing of the bylaw, Elvidge found that it was “in the best interests of the city, candidates and election.”

The budget for the future election is estimated to be approximately $13 million, not far off from the $14.5 million budget for the previous mayoral election on Oct. 24.

Although McKelvie is currently overseeing operations at City Hall for the time being, she has confirmed that she will not be running for mayor in the next election.

Tory deems his decision to leave the office to be in his best interest, claiming, “It is best to fully commit myself to the work that is required to repair these most important relationships,” that being his relationship with his family.

Despite this, Toronto residents are overall split on Tory’s decision to resign, revealed from the conduction of a Forum Research poll of over 1,000 individuals.

Last week, the photo of Tory at Toronto Pearson International Airport was revealed to be covered with a strip of brown paper. The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) has since confirmed that the act was not their doing.

Although Tory’s affair with the staff member and subsequent resignation from office remains heavily controversial, he has since confirmed that the relationship, which occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic, ended by mutual consent last year. Tory, however, is not seeking to defend himself or his role as mayor.

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