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Elections in Toronto, Mississauga
and Hamilton: City Halls turn pink

TORONTO – Power is woman. Even in politics. While yesterday for Giorgia Meloni, Italy’s first woman prime minister, was the day of confidence, in Ontario there were more women elected in municipal elections.

Meloni, in her speech to the Chamber of Deputies, mentioned women: from Tina Anselmi and Nilde Jotti to Oriana Fallaci and Samantha Cristoforetti. “Thank you! – she said – thank you for demonstrating the value of Italian women, as I hope to be able to do too”.

Meanwhile in Hamilton, by winning a tight race, former NDP leader Andrea Horwath became the city’s first female mayor. Defying various negative predictions, he beat his main rival Keanin Loomis. Horwath’s supporters are jubilant: “Finally, a woman mayor… it was about time,” Evelyn Myrie said.

While this is Horwath’s first term as mayor of Hamilton, Bonnie Crombie is the third time she has been re-elected mayor of Mississauga. Crombie had no difficulty in re-election: an avalanche of votes ensured her victory over her main challenger, entrepreneur Derek Ramkissoon. It should be remembered that Bonnie Crombie has been mayor of the city since 2014 when she replaced Hazel McCallion, historical mayor of the city since the seventies. It was essentially a passing of the baton.

Woman and Muslim. It was a breakthrough victory for former school trustee Ausma Malik, who was elected in Spadina Fort York, where Joe Cressy stepped aside earlier this year. Malik is therefore the first Muslim woman wearing the hijab to be elected to the Toronto City Council.

And if patience and perseverance are often qualities of women, Alejandra Bravo has been rewarded. After losing four previous elections, Ward 9 candidate Davenport made it to fulfill her desire to be her district representative in City Hall by replacing Ana Bailao, who decided not to run again.

Lily Cheng, managing director of NeighbourLink North York, also won the Willowdale ward with 41.77% of the votes.

In the University-Rosedale district, taking the place of outgoing councilman Mike Layton will be environmental lawyer Diane Saxe who, with about 123 more votes, won the head-to-head with Toronto Catholic School Council Trustee Norm Di Pasquale.

After these last elections, there will be more women in municipalities and schools. “No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contribution of half of its citizens,” Michelle Obama said some time ago.

In reality, political power is not pink, gender inequality is still palpable but these small signs can only bode well.

In the pics above, from the left: Bonnie Crombie and Andrea Horwath

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