Fringe mayoral candidate crashes Olivia Chow Q&A

A fringe mayoral candidate gate-crashed candidate Olivia Chow's question-and-answer session at Ryerson. (Katherine DeClerq/Ryersonian)

A fringe mayoral candidate gate-crashed candidate Olivia Chow’s question-and-answer session at Ryerson. (Katherine DeClerq/Ryersonian)

John Tory may have withdrawn from Monday’s mayoral debate at Ryerson, but Olivia Chow wasn’t alone on stage at the two-candidate event.

She was joined shortly after 5 p.m. at the Sears Atrium in the engineering building on Church and Gould streets by someone uninvited — fringe candidate, D!ONNE Renee, who spells her first name entirely in capital letters and with the exclamation mark.

Renee sat beside Chow silently for the first 30 minutes of the event until Chow spoke in support of the Scarborough LRT.

Ryerson security quickly escorted Renee out of the room.

With the fringe candidate now whisked from the scene, and with Tory being a no-show, the event turned into a Chow question-and-answer session, in which she laid out her transit plan that involves building the LRT and “more buses.”

Unlike Tory and Doug Ford, Chow said, she is against the construction of a new Scarborough subway.

“We need to do the right thing. Perhaps it costs me some votes…Scarborough LRT is the better way to go,” she said.

Chow added she felt that the lack of adequate subway service, combined with not enough bus routes in low-income areas, made the Scarborough LRT a social justice issue.

Chow said she supports raising certain property taxes to improve the TTC, namely, on home purchases over $2 million. Her land transfer tax plan could raise an additional $20 million to put toward the TTC, she said.

Chow said that, if elected, she would redirect money allotted for the Scarborough subway toward an LRT and surplus funds would be put toward a future downtown relief line.

By Steven Gelis

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