News & Articles

12 Candidates Engage in Lively Debate for Toronto’s Mayoral By-Election

Dr. Shaoren Gou

World Chinese Media
Published May 27, 2023

Toronto’s highly anticipated Mayoral By-Election Candidates Debate took place on May 27, with 12 out of the 102 registered candidates participating in a spirited discussion on the city’s future leadership. The event, organized by Ashan Fernando, aimed to inform and engage Torontonians as they prepare to cast their votes in the upcoming by-election.

The debate, held at the Direct Democracy office located at 3761 Victoria Park Avenue, provided a platform for the 12 candidates to present their ideas, address pressing issues, and demonstrate their suitability for the mayoral position.

Among the candidates participating were Peter Handjis, Michael Lamoureux, Lyall Sanders, Mitchell Toye, Jeffery Tunney, John Letonja, Weizhen Tang, Feng Gao, Partap Dua Singh, Michael Nicula, Isabella Gamk, and Bahira Abdulsalam. Each candidate brought their unique perspectives and plans to the discussion, offering diverse solutions to the challenges facing Toronto.

Throughout the debate, candidates were asked to outline their strategies for addressing critical issues impacting the city. One crucial topic was the daunting financial situation, as Toronto faces a significant deficit of 1.5 billion dollars, with an immediate challenge of 880 million dollars in 2023. The candidates presented their ideas and proposals on how they would tackle this financial crisis and restore stability to the city’s budget.

Public transit safety was another pressing concern highlighted during the debate, particularly focusing on the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). The candidates were asked to share their plans for improving safety measures and ensuring the well-being of commuters on the city’s transit system.

Mental health and addiction were also extensively discussed, with candidates outlining their comprehensive approaches to address these pressing issues across Toronto. Strategies ranged from increasing access to mental health services to implementing harm reduction initiatives and supporting community programs.

Furthermore, candidates shared their plans to collaborate with federal and provincial governments, emphasizing the need to secure Toronto’s fair share of funding for crucial projects and initiatives. They highlighted their commitment to advocating for the city’s needs and forming strong partnerships to fulfill Toronto’s potential.

The debate also touched upon matters such as the selection of a new deputy mayor, the freezing of property taxes, and the importance of equitable distribution of resources across all wards, including Scarborough, North York, and East York.

As Torontonians closely followed the debate, the candidates’ performance and proposals will undoubtedly shape the electorate’s decision-making process leading up to the mayoral by-election. With the campaign intensifying, each candidate will continue to work towards connecting with voters, sharing their visions for the city’s future, and addressing the concerns and aspirations of Toronto’s diverse population.

The lively debate showcased the passion and dedication of the candidates as they vied for the opportunity to lead Toronto. As the by-election approaches, the voters of Toronto will carefully consider the candidates’ ideas and plans, ultimately determining the city’s future direction.

David Madder, a 72-year-old Scarborough resident, has had extensive experience working in the education sector. Having spent 23 years at the Toronto school board before retiring, he now dedicates his time as a community service worker. Madder’s background and involvement in community work provide him with a unique perspective on the challenges facing Toronto.

As an audience member, not a candidate in the debate, Madder’s remarks shed light on the disparity in visibility and opportunities between the so-called top-ranked candidates and those further down the list. He emphasized that numerous candidates outside the leading positions possess valuable ideas and insights that deserve attention and consideration.

“It’s really nice to have these media platforms where they can get the word out because the top six at the top really have more of a chance than everybody else,” Madder stated. His observation reflects the reality that candidates with higher rankings often receive more attention and resources, making it challenging for others to gain equal visibility and reach a broader audience.

Being a resident of Scarborough, Madder expressed the importance of ensuring representation and addressing the unique needs of his local community. His comments highlighted the significance of promoting inclusivity and giving a voice to residents from all areas of Toronto, not just downtown.

As a sponsor of tonight’s debate, Partap Dua Singh summarized that he looks forward to seeing one of the 12 candidates in tonight’s debate elected as the new Mayor. Furthermore, he expressed his hopes that all the other candidates have the potential to be chosen as councilors, MPPs, or MPs in the future.

James Mcnair,Co-Leader of Canada’s Fourth Front and his lovely daughter Kira at the reception desk

Exchange before the debate

David Madder interviewed by reporter from Health & Life Report

Debate scene

Group photo of candidates and organizers

Group photo of candidates and organizers

Peter Handjis:I would like to restore balance and equity for all residents of the city

Michael Lamoureux:Building a better future

Lyall Sanders:… because I’m like you.

Mitchell Toye:Economic, Social, and Ecological Redevelopment and Reconceptualization

Jeffery Tunney

John Letonja

Weizhen Tang: Make Toronto Rich Again

Feng Gao: I am your last mayor

Partap Dua Singh

Michael Nicula

Isabella Gamk: Disability rights and housing advocate

Bahira Abdulsalam: Leading with Compassion and Justice

The full list of candidates for Toronto’s mayoral election:

After the May 12 deadline, there are 102 candidates successfully registered to run in Toronto’s mayoral by-election, according to the city’s website:, in alphabetical order, these are the contenders:

Bahira Abdulsalam
Emmanuel Acquaye
Blake Acton
Sharif Ahmed
Asadul Alam
Gru Jesse Allan
Atef Aly
Dionysios Apostolopoulos
Darren Atkinson
Jamie Atkinson
Ana Bailão
Jose Baking
Ben Bankas
Claudette Beals
Glen Benway
Eliazar Bonilla
Brad Bradford
Chloe Brown
Brian Buffey
Celina Caesar-Chavannes
Mason Carrie
Roland Chan
Matti Charlton
Danny Chevalier Romero
Olivia Chow
Logan Choy
Kevin Clarke
Sarah Climenhaga
Gordon Cohen
Paul Collins
Frank D’Amico
Frank D’Angelo
Phillip D’Cruze
Rob Davis
Samson Deb
Habiba Desai
Cory Deville
Simryn Fenby
Monica Forrester
Anthony Furey
Scott Furnival
Isabella Gamk
Feng Gao
Xiao Hua Gong
Adil Goraya
Brian Graff
Ari Grosman
James Guglielmin
David Gulyas
Thomas Hall
Peter Handjis
Heather He
Toby Heaps
Monowar Hossain
Mitzie Hunter
Sheila Igodan
Daniel Irmya
Syed Jaffery
Michael Jensen
Patricia Johnston
Walayat Khan
Serge Korovitsyn
Michael Lamoureux
Kris Langenfeld
Rick Lee
Mark LeLiever
John Letonja
Norman MacLeod
Giorgio Mammoliti
Steve Mann
Cleveland Marshall
Josh Matlow
Faizul Mohee
Bob Murphy
Michael Nicula
Jamil Nowwarah
Anthony Perruzza
John Ransome
D!ONNE Renée
Willie Reodica
Walter Rubino
Chris Saccoccia
Lyall Sanders
Mark Saunders
Rocco Schipano
Robert Shusterman
Knia Singh
Partap Dua Singh
Raksheni Sivaneswaran
Erwin Sniedzins
Sandeep Srivastava
Meir Straus
Weizhen Tang
Mitchell Toye
Reginald Tull
Jeffery Tunney
Kiri Vadivelu
Jack Weenen
Yuanqian Wei
Jody Williams
John Winter
Nathalie Xian Yi Yan

Photos by Shaoren Gou

More news links:

Canada & World Report
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Chinese & English

Toronto News Net
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The Ottawa News
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Health & Life Report
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