Supporters gathering at The Duke, a bar in Leslieville, to cheer on Paula Fletcher’s victory on Oct. 24 were not disappointed. Fletcher received 74 per cent of the vote with a total of 20,305 votes to win re-election in Toronto-Danforth ward.
Fletcher has served on Toronto City Council for 19 years and will now enter her sixth term in power.
With a long background in politics, Fletcher describes herself online as a “strong voice at City Hall defending the services residents expect from their city”.
Fletcher greeted each of her supporters in the room, exchanging hugs and words of congratulations.
Fletcher’s progressive values and strong community connection have been a staple in Toronto politics over the past two decades. For her next term, she says she aims to continue addressing issues of affordable housing, environmentally sustainable policies, social justice and improved bike lane infrastructure.
In her victory speech, Fletcher thanked her supporters for their role in her campaign.
“We had a great campaign….” she said “I see every single one of you, and I know that you all did such important things during this election.”
Fletcher also thanked her supporters for their engagement and volunteer work during the election.
“You made phone calls, you baked, you turned up and you did everything that made this a winning campaign,” Fletcher said.
With a population of approximately 107 000 people, Ward 14 is a large section of Toronto’s east-end. Fletcher shared her dedication to the Toronto-Danforth community and the people that she represents on council.
“You are all so great at what you do, and that is believing in us [councillors] as representatives of you and this community,” she said. “We want to make you proud, and we want to represent you at City Hall.”
Community members speak out
Flecther also spoke out against the mayor’s endorsement of candidates in other wards, and the power that the community members have to flip the vote.
“The mayor endorsed all of these candidates, and many of them lost and others didn’t do very well,” she said. “So that’s a big message. The city’s sending a message.”
Fletcher was open about her passion for more progressive politicians on city council too.
“We want progressives at City Hall. We don’t want just [funding] cuts at City Hall,” Fletcher said.
Supporters cheered and chanted her name throughout the evening, celebrating the landslide victory. Maggie Redmonds said she was very glad to see Fletcher win once again.
Redmonds said she supports Fletcher for her community approach and open-minded views. Redmonds is aligned with the New Democratic Party) and believes that Fletcher’s platform matches this outlook.
Redmonds has also worked with Fletcher within the community and created a connection with her.
“Because of my involvement in different things in the community, I’ve worked a lot with Paula over the years,” she said.
Redmonds enjoyed her time working with Fletcher and is willing to lend a hand to those around her.
“I’ve always found her very helpful and very ready to stand up for things in the community,” Redmonds said.