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Toronto faces big challenges, city's outgoing deputy mayor says ahead of Chow's swearing-in



TORONTO, CANADA - In anticipation of Olivia Chow's swearing-in ceremony as the city's new mayor, Toronto's outgoing Deputy Mayor, Jennifer McKelvie, has voiced her concerns about the significant challenges the city currently confronts. Reflecting on her tenure, McKelvie emphasized the pressing need to invest in public safety, citing heartbreaking incidents of fatalities and murders that have shaken the community [1].


During her final executive committee meeting, McKelvie chaired a review of capital and operating variance reports, highlighting the city's tough financial position. Toronto faces a daunting $395 million shortfall for 2022, primarily due to the lingering impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic [1]. To address this shortfall, budget reductions were recommended, drawing from the COVID-19 reserve backstop. However, McKelvie stressed the importance of additional support from the provincial and federal governments in the coming years [1].


With the city's finances in a delicate state, securing a better fiscal deal for Toronto becomes a critical challenge for incoming Mayor Olivia Chow [1]. Chow's inauguration as the 66th mayor of Toronto marks a historic moment as the first visible minority and woman to lead the city [3]. During her campaign, Chow focused on addressing affordability, and housing, and fostering a compassionate city hall [3]. Now, as she assumes her role, she must tackle the existing challenges head-on.


Colleagues and former opponents have expressed their readiness to collaborate with Mayor Chow, highlighting the importance of cooperation to drive progress in the city [2]. The composition of Chow's inner circle, however, remains undisclosed, leaving speculation about her team and committee chairs [2].


Chow has already outlined her priorities, which include improving TTC service, tackling the housing crisis, and enhancing public safety [3]. She seeks a new deal for Toronto, calling for support from the federal and provincial levels of government [3]. A long-term financial plan for the city will be discussed in a special meeting scheduled for August, providing an opportunity for Chow to address the city's fiscal challenges [1].


As the city bids farewell to Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie, her leadership and accomplishments are praised, including her efforts in securing over $913 million in funding for Toronto [1]. McKelvie advises Mayor Chow to listen to city staff and embrace her role as the corporation's CEO [1].


Mayor Olivia Chow's official swearing-in ceremony is scheduled for Wednesday, symbolizing the start of a new era for Toronto. With the weight of significant challenges ahead, Mayor Chow faces high expectations as she embarks on her mayoral journey [3].


References:

[1] CBC News. Toronto faces big challenges, city's outgoing deputy mayor says ahead of Chow's swearing-in.

[2] Global News. Toronto's new mayor prepares to tackle old problems.

[3] CTV News. HIGHLIGHTS: Toronto's new mayor Olivia Chow takes office.


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