Olivia Chow not certain what next step will be
Former MP looks forward to a break after finishing third in marathon mayoral campaign
Two days after finishing behind John Tory and Doug Ford in Monday's mayoral election, Olivia Chow says she's not sure what's next for her.
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"I have to figure out what I want to do, and I love that challenge," said Chow when asked by Metro Morning host Matt Galloway about the former MP and city councillor's future plans.
Chow began the campaign as the front-runner but finished in third place with 23 per cent of the vote.
It was a disappointing finish for a candidate with nation-wide name recognition and a reputation as a well-respected, progressive former councillor with deep roots in the city.
When asked what went wrong, Chow did not pinpoint any flaw of her campaign. Chow said she had an "inkling" she might not win as the campaign entered its final days but said this didn't cause her to lose focus.
"If you start doing that, you start second-guessing everything your team is doing and what I'm doing," she said. "Running a campaign means that it's full-steam ahead."
Chow praised Tory for an "excellent" campaign and said while he focused on his transit plan, she chose to talk about a wider range of issues.
"John ran a simple idea of the SmartTrack. I didn't really have that 'shiny object,'" said Chow. "I was talking mostly on a comprehensive program that includes children and families and creating jobs for young people."
Was Chow's accent an issue?
Galloway asked Chow if voters in Toronto are ready to embrace a mayor who speaks with an accent, as Chow does. She was born in Hong Kong and came to Canada in her teens. Her first language is Cantonese.
Chow said she's not certain what role, if any, her accent may have played.
"Sometimes I get my singular and plural mixed up but I don’t think that people have difficulty understanding what I'm trying to say," she said.
There has been some suggestion that Tory wants to give Chow a job in his administration. Chow said she's open to any offers and ideas but said for the immediate future, she's looking forward to taking a break before deciding what's next.
"I now have the freedom to do what I want to do," she said. "It could be art, it could be teaching, it could be politics, it could be civic engagement."
"I do want to contribute. In what form, I don't know yet."