May 15, 2023

Toronto Mayoral Candidates’ Written Statements

We’re hosting a Toronto mayoral candidates debate at Daily Bread Food Bank to kick off the official campaign season on May 15.

Because of space and time constraints, we couldn’t invite all mayoral candidates to participate (at time of publication, 102 candidates have officially thrown their hats into the ring!). We invited six candidates, as that’s the number we felt could be accommodated to ensure that each candidate had time to speak and answer questions from the moderator and the audience. More about our selection process here.

Nonetheless, we recognize the limitation of polling and name recognition in politics, so we’re inviting all registered candidates to submit a 250-word written statement about themselves, why they’re running for office, and their prioritiesso the public can be aware of all the candidates that are on the ballot come June 26.  

If you’re a registered candidate who did not have your email posted on the City of Toronto’s website previously and therefore did not receive an email from us inviting you to submit, please feel free to send us your blurb at [email protected].

We’ll be posting all statements on this page as we receive them and publishing them in alphabetical order according to candidates’ last names.

The following statements do not reflect Daily Bread Food Bank’s position, nor does posting them represent a candidate endorsement. The statements have been provided by candidates and have been posted unedited.

Emmanuel Acquaye

My mom and I were benefactors of the daily bread program from 2007 to 2008. I want to thank you for all your services then and now. As part of my plan as mayor, I want to first investigate these budget reductions and allocate more resources not limited to funding but in food donations as well. This is A PROMISE.

Glen Benway

I’m running for Mayor because we need to change the Tax & Spend mentality of our city.

As an accountant (CPA) I see Toronto as a great city that needs to better evaluate risk and cost effectiveness before spending tax payer dollars and after money is spent, ensure accountability.  We need rational common sense solutions.  Stop letting the vocal minority bully the silent majority, stop letting the tail wag the dog. 


Cancel the Vacant Home Tax Property Status Declaration


Comfort Centres open year round, 24/7 for the disenfranchised. 

Affordable Housing

Offer incentives to house owners to add rental suites to their homes.  


Use new technologies to increase longevity of pothole repairs.

Bicycle Lanes

Create a network of seasonal bike lanes on residential and side streets. Remove bike lanes on major streets; Bloor, Yonge, University, Danforth.

TTC Ridership

Riders do not feel welcome, safe or respected on the TTC and are not confident that when they pay their fare they will get to their destination safely, comfortably and on time.  The TTC needs to create a new covenant with their riders and then own it; Fast, Safe, On Time, Every Time. Additionally;

  • Status of Service boards at each transit entrance and clear timely service announcements.
  • All staff including Special Constables must be friendly and helpful
  • Continuous safety awareness campaigns
  • Cameras, cameras and more cameras

Food Security

Encourage Torontonians to donate by setting the example, by pledging my mayor’s salary to  Daily Bread Food Bank.

Matti Charlton

Matti Charlton brings a fresh perspective to the table as the only non-binary candidate running. Matti’s campaign is focused on inclusivity and representation for all Torontonians.

What sets Matti apart is their unparalleled understanding of the challenges facing the homeless community. Matti is the only candidate to have developed a modern and comprehensive plan for homelessness ( Matti’s empathy stems from their deep connection to these communities—their friends and neighbors an integral part of their life. They themselves live below the poverty line and rely on disability support.

Matti’s diverse background adds to their depth as a candidate. As an autistic, queer, and transgender individual, they have experienced both the highs and lows of living in Toronto. They have excelled in various fields, ranging from software development and art direction to fashion design, music production, and writing. Their 12th album of electronic pop music, “Almost,” and their novel “Dendrome” attest to their artistic success. Furthermore, Matti passionately advocates for mental health issues, poverty, homelessness, and addiction.

Matti founded the world’s first transgender-owned underwear company, Retromatti Athletics, in 2014. Matti’s expertise and wide-ranging talents make them uniquely equipped to tackle the complex issues facing Toronto.

To learn more about Matti’s platform, visit the links below.  Matti Charlton is a dedicated advocate, bridging the gap between diverse communities and striving for a better, more inclusive Toronto.


All Mayoral White Papers:

Bio photo:

Kevin Clarke

Mr. Kevin Clarke is a former homeless man who ranked in the top ten for the 2018 and 2022 mayoral elections, despite receiving zero news coverage. He is a seven-time mayoral candidate, ten-time provincial candidate, and five-time federal candidate. He is also the only person in Canadian history to face three levels of government simultaneously. In addition to his political efforts, Mr. Clarke brokered the largest children’s rights case in Canadian history, in the murder, torture, abuse, and death of seven-year-old Katelynn Sampson; seven years after her mother fought with the Premier of Ontario to find justice for her child. He also actively organizes a monthly hunger feedout, where he and a group of volunteers make sandwiches and gather fruit to deliver to those hungry on the streets.

Mr. Clarke’s platform centers around those most vulnerable in the city; namely the homeless, those struggling with addiction & mental health, and above all, the children. After all, every homeless person was once a child. Mr. Clarke naturally empathizes with the poor, and easily connects with good-hearted people to innovate public solutions for all, not just the few. He plans to expand unobstructive accessible shelter options for the homeless, prioritize building affordable housing instead of luxury condos, improve TTC safety by having first responders assist loiterers, reduce the police budget to an appropriate sustainable level, provide free-of-charge bus rides in TCHC districts, and promote city programs that foster child growth and parental involvement.

You can find Mr. Clarke at

Sarah Climenhaga

My mayoral vision for Toronto is one where we return power to the people. I support eliminating TTC fares and replacing funding through more equitable, stable and efficient sources. I support deregulating the housing market so that housing is allowed wherever there is concrete, while protecting and expanding green space wherever there is not. I support encouraging creativity, innovation and opportunity by making it much easier for local independent businesses to operate. I want a Toronto with freedom for people to move safely and easily around the city, freedom to create housing, businesses and art, and freedom to have a healthy fulfilling life in this city no matter how much money they make. And, I support a Toronto with smog free air, sparkling clean swimmable water, urban wildlife, and healthy forests, ravines, rivers and valleys, where our economy does not conflict with any of these human needs. Please go to to learn more, or read about my platform visions at

Anthony Furey

I’m a long-time newspaper columnist and radio show host and father of three small kids who lives in this city. I grew up in Toronto and everyday I look around and worry that my kids are growing up in a less prosperous and more dangerous city then the one I grew up in. That has to end!

Toronto residents are dealing with an affordability crisis and yet City Hall and the other candidates running for mayor are promising to make things worse.

As mayor I will not raise taxes or support any new taxes or fees coming out of City hall.

All of the status quo councillors running voted to move ahead with plans for regressive taxes like road tolls and a municipal sales tax, which will increase the price of goods and further harm low-income residents.

When it comes to social service delivery, I will ensure that City Hall better partners with non-profit agencies that offer greater value for money and better results than in-house City Hall delivery models.

I hope you will visit my website to learn more about my vision for the future of this great city. 

I love Toronto and I am going to fight to ensure that it remains the city that we all love!

Feng Gao

 “Ask not what your last mayor GAO can do for you, ask what you can do for your last mayor GAO.” 


As your last mayor GAO, I need your help to make sure your CEO get real shots, because politician ISis FAKE shots for your CEO. 

Vote for GAO.

Free your CEO. 

John Letonja

My name is John Letonja candidate for Mayor see my website for more information on feeding the food bank I will give a tax break to the suppliers and grocery chains to feed the less fortunate in need and I will get all governments to do the same to put food on their tables and put a roof over their heads and I will try to generate new money not from the taxpayers but on my own project that Toronto could use for the future use, as you know we have lots of issues that’s a big mess in the city so money won’t cause the problem anymore to run the city.

Syed Jaffery

One of the most important issues on my agenda is the safety and security of my constituents.  I would like to implement stronger gun control laws and greater security from across the border to prevent arms smuggling.  This way our neighbourhoods would be much safer.  A safer and better social justice system would guarantee a smoother society with less violence and better mental health. 

Housing is one of the basic needs of a human being.  Providing affordable housing, food and shelter would be my utmost priority as a mayor.

As we know nothing could happen without proper funding of a program.  Balancing budget to provide proper funding for the most important programs and projects is essential.  As a mayor I would make sure that enough funding is available for our essential programs to move forward and solve the problems of my Torontonians.  

I would also like to implement a smart urban traffic control system powered by our new artificial intelligence technology, to expedite the traffic.  This will happen through controlling our traffic lights to alleviate congestion of any kind on our streets during rush hours and normal hours.

Jeffery Tunney

There are reasons to why I decided to run for Mayor and why I think I would be the best mayor that this city has ever experienced.  Victims of crimes are often voiceless.  To have a team so that victims have a voice.  Every detail is heard and well documented.  This can help reduce crime.  Many people have agreed that as long as victims are ignored that crimes in this city will continue to become worse. 

This inflation crisis that is happening is affecting many single parents, elderly, the vulnerable and the people of low income.  Many times, candidates and politicians will speak up about their issues and concerns during their campaign.  However, once elected, those issues will become ignored.  This will not happen if I am mayor.  The other crisis that I am aware of is more and more people are turning to food banks.  These establishments do not have enough donations and charity events to help with the shortfall that they are facing.  I want to create a change.  As a mayor, I have got a platform and a plan to make sure taxes do not go any higher.  

The vulnerable, low-income people and this environment have been ignored way too long.  Conquering the environment crisis, I want to reduce gas emissions and prevent waste.   I can relate to people who are experiencing hardship and difficult times for I was once there myself and I know what it is like and what could be improved.

Kiri Vadivelu

My name is Kiri Vadivelu and I am running to be the next mayor of Toronto. I am a social justice activist and a member of the Municipal Socialist Alliance which ran 10 candidates across southern Ontario last October, receiving about 15,000 votes. I was the MSA candidate in Scarborough Centre Ward 21 gaining 1,800 votes. I am the first Tamil-Canadian to seek the mayor’s office in Toronto. 

I immigrated from Sri Lanka as a child, and successfully resisted illegal eviction of my family at the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board during the 2020 emergency lock down. I believe good housing is a human right. I am a founding member of the Scarborough Tenants’ Union, a leading voice of Toronto ACORN, and a committed member of Justice for Workers. I was a shop steward in the United Steelworkers Union where I fought for better working conditions, and was the recipient of a 2019 union leadership award.

Toronto is in crisis, the product of a failed capitalist system. MSA call for immediate mass social housing construction, expropriation of giant landlords, and free public transit . We seek to repair our schools, and cut police budget by at least 50%. We demand a climate justice agenda, replacement of the “strong mayor” powers with a grassroots participatory budget process, and steep taxation of the properties of big business and the rich.

Let’s build community power, working class power, from the bottom up.  Vote socialist on June 26 to elect class conscious leadership.

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