By AMARACHI AMADIKE, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
A provincial byelection this month in Scarborough will see Scarborough Southwest Councillor Gary Crawford running for the Progressive Conservative Party.
Provincial byelections will be held in the ridings of Scarborough-Guildwood and Kanata–Carleton on July 27.
The Scarborough-Guildwood seat became vacant after MPP Mitzie Hunter’s decision to resign from her role as Deputy Leader of the Ontario Liberal Party and run in the recent Toronto mayoral byelection which was held on June 26.
Hunter had served her constituents in the Scarborough-Guildwood area as their Liberal MPP since 2013. She finished sixth in the race to become Toronto’s mayor with 21,229 votes. Olivia Chow as elected Mayor of Toronto in the byelection with 269, 372 votes.
Along with Crawford, those running to replace Hunter as Scarborough-Guildwood MPP include Liberal Party candidate Andrea Hazell; NDP candidate Thadsha Navaneethan; Green Party candidate Tara McMahon; New Blue Party candidate Danielle Height; and Independent candidates Kevin Clarke and Habiba Desai.
Both Clarke and Desai were also candidates in the recent Toronto mayoral byelection. Clarke received 265 votes; and Desai received 196 votes in the mayoral byelection.
Crawford, who has been a City of Toronto councillor representing Scarborough Southwest since 2010, will be making his second attempt at provincial politics after an unsuccessful campaign in 2007 in Scarborough Southwest in which he finished second to Liberal MPP Lorenzo Berardinetti.
Crawford served as a Toronto District School Board (TDSB) Trustee for seven years prior to being elected to Toronto Council.
If Crawford wins the provincial byelection race in Scarborough Guildwood, a byelection to fill his Toronto Council seat in Scarborough Southwest will have to be called at some point in the near future.
The deadline to register for candidates planning on running in the provincial byelection in Scarborough-Guildwood and in Kanata-Carleton is Thursday, July 13, at 2 p.m.
— Amarachi Amadike is a Local Journalism Initiative Reporter for Beach Metro Community News. His reporting is funded by the Government of Canada through its Local Journalism Initiative.