Saturday, October 26, 2013
Karen Stintz will run for Toronto mayor
In an exclusive interview with the Toronto Sun, Stintz confirmed she will be a candidate in the 2014 mayoral race.
“I’m running,” Stintz said Friday. “I’m assembling a campaign team because I believe that elections are about choice and I want to be able to offer a choice to the people of Toronto.”
Stintz is one of the first credible conservatives to formally throw her hat in the ring as a challenger to Mayor Rob Ford next year.
The revelation comes as the one-year countdown to election day begins and pulls the cover off a campaign many City Hall watchers had known was quietly in the works for the last few months.
“I’ve been working hard for the people for the last 10 years and I want to continue working hard for them in the next four (years),” Stintz said.
While other possible conservative candidates like John Tory have yet to declare their intentions in the 2014 race, Stintz said she made it clear to Tory back in August that she’s not waiting for him to make up his mind and would be running next year.
The Eglinton-Lawrence (Ward 16) councillor argues she is an alternative to Ford.
“We’re different people with different views around what it means to work for the city and work for the people,” Stintz said. “If Ford gets re-elected we will stand still for four years.
“The David Miller years are still fresh in people’s minds and I think many people fear going back to a (David Miller mentality), which I believe would take us back. So it is a question for the city, ‘Are we going to go back, stand still or move forward?’”
Looking at the 2014 race, Stintz predicted it will focus on pocketbook issues.
“People are still worried about their finances so they need to know that city hall is continuing to look out for them and their interests,” she said.
“We need to restore confidence in city hall and make sure people are confident that we are respecting their dollars but we also need to continue to make their lives easier – making decisions on transit, building transit, making sure that businesses want to come here, making sure our tax rate isn’t too high.”
A Ford versus Stintz match up has been brewing throughout the current council term.
Although Stintz was Ford’s hand-picked TTC chair in 2010, she quickly found herself at odds with the mayor and his brother, Councillor Doug Ford.
Back in 2012, Stintz led council against Ford in a bid to revive Transit City. She lost a fight with the Ford administration to save TTC chief general manager Gary Webster’s job but successfully orchestrated a council coup to dump Ford-friendly transit commissioners. Late last year, she led a move to restart the debate over the Scarborough LRT, setting up this year’s debate over the extension of the Bloor-Danforth subway. That debate had Stintz and Ford on the same side, both voting for the subway over the light rail project to replace the Scarborough RT.
Ford shared the win with Stintz following the Scarborough subway victory at council.
“We worked as a team, we have our differences but at the end of the day the people of Scarborough got the subway. We marched it down field and scored the touchdown when it counted,” Ford said.
But, the Fords have also lashed out at Stintz in the past.
Earlier this year, Doug Ford lamented the decision to appoint Stintz as TTC chair.
“The biggest mistake we ever did was put her in the TTC,” he said.
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