By Lincoln DePradine
William Peyton Hubbard, an African-Canadian who died in 1935, was elected to city council 15 times and served occasionally as acting mayor of Toronto. In recent years, Scarborough Councillor Michael Thompson held the position of deputy mayor.
Mitzie Hunter, however, may upstage both Hubbard and Thompson by becoming the first Black person ever elected mayor of the City of Toronto.
“I wish people to know that I am indeed actively considering running for mayor. Many people across the city have been reaching out to me; and, likewise, I have been consulting with supporters,’’ Hunter said Tuesday in a statement received by The Caribbean Camera.
Jennifer McKelvie, a 46-year-old Scarborough councillor, has been Toronto’s acting mayor, since John Tory stepped down on February 17, after the revelation that he had a relationship with a much younger woman who once worked in his office.
Hunter, Ontario Liberal Party (OLP) MPP for Scarborough-Guildwood, is the party’s deputy leader.
Ottawa South MPP John Fraser has headed the OLP in an interim role since August 2022, following the resignation of party leader Steven Del Duca.
Del Duca, now mayor of Vaughan, resigned as OLP leader after failing to win his seat in provincial elections last June. The Liberal Party also was badly beaten, finishing third – behind the Progressive Conservatives and New Democratic Party – with just eight seats.
Liberals, at their three-day annual general meeting beginning Friday, March 3, in Hamilton, will elect a new leader.
Hunter, who lost to Del Duca at a leadership convention in 2020, said she will not be contesting for the OLP’s top job this weekend.
“I’ve been reflecting on the responsibilities of leading the Ontario Liberal Party and I know that this is something that I won’t be doing at this time,” she said.
“I love my party and the party’s members, and I consider them to be my second family. However, after a period of reflection I have concluded that best serving my party does not at this time include seeking its leadership.’’
Meanwhile, a replacement for Tory will be decided June 26 with the holding of a by-election for Toronto mayor.
“Many individuals have contacted me regarding running for mayor and I have been thinking about it,” Hunter said. “I am extremely encouraged by what I am hearing and will make an announcement soon. So on that score I continue to say: stay tuned!”