Canada’s largest and wealthiest city has an election coming up June 26th to replace philandering former mayor John Tory. According to a recent poll, former NDP MP Olivia Chow has extended her lead to 35%. Meanwhile her closest competitor, ex-police chief John Saunders, sits at 14%. He therefore has an outside chance only of catching Chow, who is three-quarters of the way to making Toronto a full-fledged “woke” metropolis. And, the only candidate advocating for real change is former journalist Anthony Furey. He has received endorsements from intellectual heavyweights Conrad Black and Jordan Peterson. He is the only candidate proposing reduced budget expenses, cutting the land transfer tax and with a plan to hire 500 more police officers, Furey is also the only candidate showing any serious interest in public safety. His campaign is gaining momentum with 11% of the vote, based on recent polling..Thus Chow seems likely to win..As for Saunders and Furey, they should move quickly through the stages of grief. The city is broke. It has a budget deficit of $1 billion and recent Canada Day celebrations at City Hall were canceled due to resource constraints. Like any big city, Toronto has its share of problems but in recent years everything has become worse: an affordability crisis, a shortage of housing, deteriorating transit services, homelessness, drug use and increasing crime..None of this will be their problem to fix.. Olivia ChowJack Layton's widow Olivia Chow is favoured to win the Toronto mayoralty in June. .Toronto's out-of-control growth has construction sites everywhere blocking off streets and cars forced to follow a circuitous path, cyclists darting in and out of traffic, and Torontonians going about their day not realizing that the city’s political elites have sold out to big city growth over their quality of life. Condo developments continue unabated with 32,000 new units in 2023 and tens of thousands more over the next several years. Urban sprawl in TO is no longer headed toward suburbia, but upwards in the sky utilizing Bauhaus architectural principles where everyone can live in a tight cubicle suspended from the worsening reality on the ground..Olivia Chow is a hardcore progressive whose political speaking style is warm, fuzzy, and grandmotherly using words like “caring, affordable, and build a city where everyone belongs.” Her platform consists of wanting to build 25,000 units of rent-controlled housing, and tearing down the Gardiner Expressway which will cost hundreds of millions to flatten out and does not solve the problem of where will all the traffic go. On the drug crisis that is creating more homelessness and crime Chow is on the side of the city council which has asked the federal government to decriminalize the consumption of hard drugs. Vancouver's decriminalization of drugs is tamed in comparison to what Toronto has in mind..When asked about tax increases Chow's true socialist colours emerge: "I am ready to tax," she declares and intends on introducing a luxury home tax and raising taxes above and beyond the rate of inflation. Her idea of a budget process is to put "people and services first” and then fill in the blanks on a number..Thus far Chow has run a carefully orchestrated front-runner’s campaign, attacking no one and deflecting any criticism, smiling a lot, and knowing that brand name recognition will carry her across the finish line. After all, she is former NDP leader Jack Layton's wife. (Famously, they lived in a federally subsidized co-op apartment building.) Once in the mayor's seat, reality will set in and she will be forced to go begging to Queen’s Park and Ottawa for hundreds of millions of dollars just to keep city services from imploding..The 12-year reign of conservative politics at City Hall is coming to an end and the right is in a lacklustre mode. Chief Saunders has made public safety his number one issue and says that once elected, he will immediately meet with Prime Minister Trudeau to push for urgent reforms to the bail system to prevent “catch and release” policies. Saunders will have to remind himself that an activist Supreme Court of Canada has made mandatory bail the court’s default position. And the Liberal government is under pressure from lobby groups that argue against the over-representation of indigenous and ethnic minorities in the jail system..Saunders promises to triple the number of subway constables to 200 to help prevent the violent crime that has plagued the subway system with assaults and stabbings. On safe injection sites, he promises to focus on keeping residential areas that house drug sites to be kept clean of needles and syringes that get strewn about. He does not oppose them but opposes the city’s plan to decriminalize hard drugs. On the budget, he believes that spending accountability should come first, although he too has a hard time costing out his promises..The ex-chief is the best alternative to Chow but as his message has meandered in attempting to appeal to everyone, he has struggled to capture the voters' imagination. Former mayor John Tory had that uncanny ability to say things that superficially appealed to everyone and offended no one. Saunders is too caught up in his police chief’s persona thinking that voters will gravitate to him because of his "law and order status," forgetting a basic rule in politics: charisma attracts voters and lack of charisma turns them off..Saunders is running out of time. He is throwing a Hail Mary to undecided voters and has revamped his slogan: “Saunders Is How You Stop Chow." It has a desperate feel. He is also calling on other candidates to join him and prevent Chow from “defunding the police, raising taxes by 25%, and “causing disorder in the city.” It might be too little too late but being trapped in a corner might energize him to go down fighting to try and save the city that he has served for 38 years..There are 102 candidates in the running whose main qualification was requiring 25 signatures and a $200 filing fee. Apart from the top 6 candidates, most would not know what to do with a $16 billion operating budget if it hit them on the head on a bright sunny day. One candidate — Toby Heaps — arrived at City Hall on rollerblades to register his dog Molly; the youngest a grade 12 student quipped, “Because he’s not married, he can't have any affairs.” Surely for a big city like Toronto that claims to be Hollywood North, the qualifications should be tough enough to eliminate the pretenders and attract talent that befits a big city?.The left has nicely coalesced their support around their veteran candidate Chow and the right remains split among many candidates who believe they can still win. Unless Chow slips up in a major way, the urban elites will take over City Hall. Maybe they can change Toronto for the better. But one can’t help reviewing their track record of running North America's major cities and remembering what's happened to downtown Vancouver, Portland, and Seattle..There was a time when Toronto was a laid back, slow-growth city with a vibrant downtown, made up of friendly neighborhoods where no one cared about where anyone was from. It will now become a city more politically divided, pit the city versus the suburbs, less safe and hooked on spending money it does not have to chase left-wing Utopian dreams. Good luck, Toronto.