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Kristyn Wong-Tam to leave Toronto city council to run as NDP candidate in provincial election – CP24 Toronto’s Breaking News

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 Friday morning 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.

“I’ve chosen to join the NDP and in particular I’ve chosen to join Andrea Horvath. Over the past four years with Doug Ford at the helm of the province, I’ve seen the hardship of Ontarians right across and in particular in Toronto Centre where we have the three poorest census tracts in the city,” she said at a press conference to announce her candidacy Friday morning.

The politician 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 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.

“I was diagnosed with endometriosis in 2019 and my pain has worsened over the past two years. I’m doing well, but being an MPP is a demanding role and I need to slow down for a while,” Morrison wrote on her website.

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 at today’s press conference.

Horwath, Wong-Tam, Suze Morrison

Wong-Tam added today 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.

She 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.