Kristyn Wong-Tam to Run in Provincial Election

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Kristyn Wong-Tam to Run in Provincial Election

By Fred Alvarado
Fred is a journalist for FOCUS MEDIA ARTS CENTRE

Welcome to RPTV Weekly News Show Episode 27. In this weekly news show we present news that impacts on Regent Park and other surrounding communities.   Episode 27 for the week of April 14th to April 21st, 2022 features segments on: Kristyn Wong-Tam to leave city council and run as NDP candidate in upcoming June election ( 01:20  min); Toronto Centre MPP Suze Morrison Won’t Seek Re-election ( 08:02  min); SDP Committee Receives Evaluation Report of the United Way Social Impact Investment Funds for Regent Park ( 09:27  min); Major John Tory visits Ramadan Meals 2022 in Regent Park ( 15:01  min); Police arrest 39-year-old man in 2 separate, random fatal shootings of two completely innocent man in Downtown Toronto ( 16:07  min); Covid-19 and Vaccination Update: Toronto Public Health encourages eligible residents to get their fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible / Vaccine Clinics in Regent Park ( 19:32  min); Events and Jobs in Regent Park Community ( 22:01  min).

The following is one of the featured stories.
Toronto city Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam is leaving municipal politics to run as an NDP candidate in the upcoming provincial election.

The Ward 13 - Toronto Centre city councillor announced that she is resigning after being on council for over a decade, and will be vying for a seat at Queen’s Park as a New Democrat candidate for the same riding in the June provincial election.

Wong-Tam held a press conference to announce her candidacy on Friday April 8th and also posted to her website.  She says she decided to step down from city council because she believes in “the democratic process” and wants to champion for change at a provincial level.

“I believe in democratic renewal. I know how much energy I brought into this job, especially at the municipal level…And I think it's so critical that somebody comes in to represent Toronto Centre at the municipal level with the same level of energy, the same level of enthusiasm that I brought to it five years ago.” Wong-Tam said.

Wong-Tam is the only NDP nominee in Toronto Centre and intends to replace outgoing incumbent MPP Suze Morrison. Morrison was the first ever NDP MPP elected for Toronto Centre in 2018. She announced earlier this week that she is not seeking re-election due to health reasons.

NDP leader Andrea Horwath said Wong-Tam has been a strong voice at city council and will bring her determination and drive to Queen’s Park. “She has advocated for tenants and for businesses alike. She is passionate about urban space, about green space, about affordable housing, about access to health-care for all,” Horwath said.

Wong-Tam added that Horwath is a major reason why she is continuing a career in politics. “She needs our support. She needs our help and I'm very, very proud to be joining this team. And if it wasn't for Andrea, I will tell you right now that I don't know if I would be stepping into the political arena.”

Wong-Tam’s departure from city council marks a second downtown ward that will be left vacant for the municipal election this October, after Councillor Joe Cressy announced earlier this week that he is stepping down in Spadina-Fort York.

“My love for Toronto Centre and our neighbourhoods runs deep. It is my home”, Wong-Tam posted on her website. “When my family immigrated to Canada in 1975, our first apartment was in Regent Park and it was there I learned to speak English at Sprucecourt Public School. As a queer teen, I found community and support in the Church Wellesley Village. As a university student, I was an overnight worker in a women’s shelter run by the Catholic Church near Allan Gardens and later in my 30s, I opened a successful business on Church Street. I am raising my family in Toronto Centre and for almost 12 years, I have had the tremendous privilege of representing our communities at City Hall.” Wong-Tam expressed on her personal announcement for Toronto Centre.

“I was able to build my life in this community because of a robust network of social services, affordable housing and a lot of hard work. I entered politics because, despite my individual success, I kept seeing the hardworking members of my community fall through the cracks of a system that didn’t see or value them. I wanted to help create a city that believed inclusion means more than just telling people they are welcome here. I want our city to say we built this with you in mind. We built this for you regardless of your socioeconomic status or postal code”, she added.

Wong-Tam was first elected to Toronto City Council in 2010 as the first openly lesbian councillor and is a prominent advocate for the LGBTQ community. Wong-Tam is also a founding member of the Church-Wellesley Village Business Improvement Area and co-founder of Asian Canadians For Equal Marriage. Wong-Tam’s last day with city council is May 4.



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Video Upload Date: April 21, 2022

Focus Media Arts (formerly Regent Park Focus) is a not-for-profit organization that was established in 1990 to counter negative stereotypes about the Regent Park community and provide interventions to high risk youth living in the area.

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