In defeat, Olivia Chow delivers message of hope

Candidate faced discrimination and adversity throughout campaign

She awoke the morning of the mayoral election to a Toronto Sun cartoon editorial of herself dressed in a Chairman Mao outfit, with squinted eyes and tilted glasses. Positioned on a skateboard while standing on the coattails of her husband, Jack Layton’s suit, the message was clear and it was cruel.

Olivia Chow delivers her concession speech

Olivia Chow has endured quite a lot in this campaign and yet she still hit the streets this morning. She started in Scarborough, then went to Chinatown to vote. She finished her day at 585 Dundas Street East at the Daniel Spectrums building: in the very neighbourhood that she so passionately cares about.

Sitting in a green room surrounded by her family, including Coun. Mike Layton, Olivia Chow watched as it took less than twenty minutes to declare John Tory the new mayor of Toronto. 

Olivia Chow had some advice for John Tory.

“Too many children go to school hungry. Too many people live in poverty. John, you’ve just been given a chance to do something about it and I sincerely wish you all the best as our mayor,” said Chow.

The crowd, though hopeful, did not look surprised at Chow’s loss and instead erupted in jubilation as she took the podium.

Speaking to approximately 200 people in Regent Park, Chow’s message of hope and change rang true for the room full of young people.

“I say to our young people the city needs you, your enthusiasm, your idealism, your great ideas and your faith that things can always be better if we work together to change them,” said Chow.

Campaign volunteer, Kevin Shimmin remained hopeful and believed that Chow’s activist roots would continue beyond the campaign.

“Olivia is trying to stand-up for people in regular neighbourhoods and she will continue to do that no matter what happens,” said Shimmin.

A former member of parliament, city councillor and school trustee, Olivia Chow has not decided what lies ahead for her or if she will make a run for the Ontario NDP party leadership.

“I don’t know just yet. For now, I just want to go for wings and beer with my family and we will take it from there.”