In their own words: John Tory and Karen Stintz join Toronto mayoral race

Matthew Coutts
Daily Brew

Fifty years from now, when academics discuss Toronto's 2014 mayoral campaign, it will be cut into two parts: Before Closing Ceremonies (B.C.C.) and After Closing Ceremonies (A.C.C.).

One day after the Sochi Olympics came to an official end and the attention of Canadians, specifically Torontonians, returned to the country's current affairs, two key mayoral hopefuls filed their paperwork and made their nominations official.

Coun. Karen Stintz, the former head of the Toronto Transit Commission, has long confirmed her intention to run. John Tory, former Ontario PC leader and mayoral candidate whose candidacy has been a thing of speculation, finally jumped in with both feet.

The candidates pool is now filled with legitimate right-leaning candidates, including Mayor Rob Ford and former councillor David Soknacki. New blood on the campaign trail will surely make things more interesting. Set aside the acidic tone and rhetoric of the mayoral campaign pre-Closing Ceremony, and welcome an apparently more welcoming and mature post-Closing Ceremony attitude.

Tory and Stintz made their presence felt on Monday. Here are their visions, focus and thoughts. In their own words.

John Tory

Campaign vision: "We need to have a city that's livable, affordable and functional." -

Why running: "I wake up every morning thinking about what a great opportunity this is to make a difference. I really do. This is the city I love, this is home."

On transit: "Livable means, first and foremost these days, tackling congestion. Traffic. And that means getting transit built. The Yonge Street subway relief line is job one for me."

Accountability: People have to come to work at city hall, councillors and everybody else, and work together not against each other, and that includes working with the other governments.

Difference from Stintz:

"I think in the end, a set of skills and set of experiences that show a steady consistence in getting things done, whether it is running a large business organization with thousands of employees, running the United Way campaign in every corner of the city, running the Canadian Football League. I think I have proven I can cause people to work together and get things done." - via CP24.

Difference from Ford:

"If you can have a plan, no matter what elements it has – and for me it is transit, taxes and jobs and investment – the question is, can you get it done? In our system at city hall, you've got to get the city council working with each other, not against each other." - via CP24.

Campaign style: "I'm counting on my own, positive campaign and ideas about the future and the ability to cause the city to be one city, not regional divisions. Not divisions between gay and straight, black and white and this and that." - CP24.

On attack ads by Ford family: "I am who I am, and people will judge that. More importantly, I am going to be running a campaign that is a positive campaign about ideas for the future of this city that has to be more livable." - CP24

Karen Stintz

Campaign vision: “People want a responsible leader. They want a responsible, accountable leader that can make decisions, get things done and understand what their priorities are. And I am that person.” - via Metro Toronto

On transit: "Job No. 1 is about dealing with congestion. And it more than just transit, because congestion is about transit, cars, bikes, deliveries, vans, taxis. It is helping deal with congestion so people can get home quicker."

Accountability: "The people of Toronto have said very clearly that they want a leader who is responsible and accountable and focusing on their priorities. So being on the council for 10 years and living in the city, and having the same priorities, I am really looking forward to getting out and talking to the people of Toronto about how to make this city as great as it can be." - via Breakfast Television.

Campaign style: “I have a family, I have a mortgage, I have two kids, two dogs. I have challenges. I’ve got the same pressures that people have every day. I suffer from gridlock. I have financial considerations as well. Not only do I have a track record, I get it.” – via Metro Toronto.

Difference from Ford: "The people that I have talked to are saying they want a responsible, accountable leader. Someone who is fiscally responsible with their money, but also someone who can get things done. That's the mayor I want to be." - via Breakfast Television.

On dirty campaign: "I see people that are really engaged in a way they have never been before. I look forward to talking about ideas and a campaign about making sure they understand that city hall can work for them. That has been what has been missing for a little while. There is a desire to have a responsible mayor. We haven't seen one." via Breakfast Television.

And for posterity, the latest from Rob Ford’s camp, via campaign manager Doug Ford on Newstalk 1010:

On transit: "We are running on making sure we complete the Sheppard (subway) line, then the downtown relief line and then Finch."

Accountability: "Job one is ... taking care of the business of Toronto, like he always does."

Campaign style: "We just look forward to getting out there and talking to people and telling them about our agenda, and that is about reducing the size and cost of government."

Difference from Tory: "We'll run on our record, and we'll let John run on his political record… John is about as like-minded to Rob as Olivia Chow is.

Difference from Stintz: "I don't consider David Soknacki and Karen Stintz the right side of the spectrum, that's for sure."

On dirty campaign: "There is no anger at all (toward Tory). I look forward to getting Rob in front of him and debate."

Want to know what news is brewing in Canada? Follow @MRCoutts on Twitter.