Ward 20 Scarborough Southwest Ward to undergo byelection as council chooses democratic renewal over appointment

Although a date for the byelection to fill the open city council seat in Ward 20 Scarborough Southwest has not been determined yet, a bylaw mandating one will be passed on September 6 with nominations beginning on September 7, 2023.

By AMARACHI AMADIKE, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Last week, Toronto city council officially declared Scarborough Southwest’s seat vacant, triggering yet another byelection.

The city clerk’s recommendation consisted of an option for council to fill the vacancy by appointing a qualified person to hold office at a “special meeting” to be held on October 4, 2023, but council voted in favour of a byelection instead.

A byelection date has not been determined and a bylaw mandating one will be passed on September 6 with nominations beginning on September 7, 2023.

According to a City of Toronto press release, a variety of factors “including holidays and ensuring adequate time for the preparation of the by-election” will be considered when determining voting dates.

Until the new councillor is chosen for the ward, Crawford’s original staff will continue to take care of matters concerning Ward 20.

“This move emphasizes the importance of maintaining an elected City Councillor in Ward 20, ensuring that the voices of the constituents are effectively heard, and their interests are represented at City Council,” a Scarborough-Guildwood representative said in a news release following the announcement.

City council’s announcement comes after Gary Crawford relinquished his seat in order to run in the July 27 byelection held for the vacant Scarborough-Guildwood MPP. The byelection, won by Liberal Andrea Hazell, was held to replace former MPP Mitzie Hunter, who ran in the byelection for Toronto mayor. On June 26, Olivia Chow won the mayoral byelection.

So far, former candidates Kevin Rupasinghe and Parthi Kandavel have announced plans to make second attempts at becoming the city councillor for Scarborough Southwest.

More information about the byelection will be posted over the next few weeks on the Toronto Elections webpage

— 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.

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