Olivia Chow mulling Toronto mayoral run

Trinity-Spadina MP Olivia Chow tells CBC that she's mulling a run at the Toronto mayor's chair.

Widow of late NDP leader Jack Layton says she hasn't made final decision

Olivia Chow and Sook-Yin Lee on Jack

10 years ago
Duration 2:11
Sook-Yin Lee tells George Stroumboulopoulos about playing Olivia Chow in the CBC biopic Jack, while the NDP MP carefully addresses whether she would consider running for mayor of Toronto.

Trinity-Spadina MP Olivia Chow told CBC that she's mulling a run at the Toronto mayor's chair. 

Chow's name came up repeatedly among media and City Hall watchers when it appeared Mayor Rob Ford would lose his job earlier this year. A Superior Court judge ruled that Ford had contravened the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act and ordered him from office, but a Divisional Court overturned the decision.

Speaking Wednesday on CBC TV's George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight ahead of the release of a biopic on her late husband, former NDP Leader Jack Layton, Chow said she loves Toronto but hasn't made any final decision.

'I am considering it'

"I'm listening to people's advice," she said. "Jack wanted to be mayor. Maybe I want to be a mayor, too, but maybe not. Perhaps I won't be able to do it. I am considering it."

Layton was elected to council in 1982 and had a failed mayoral bid in 1991. Chow's stepson Mike Layton is a sitting councillor.

Chow, the NDP's current Transport critic, has a long history as a Toronto councillor herself. She was the first Asian woman elected to Metropolitan Toronto Council, in 1991, and she was re-elected five times before winning a federal seat in 2006. 

She was chair of the community services committee and vice-chair of the Toronto Transit Commission.

Chow's website boasts that "she was central in forging nine consecutive balanced budgets as a member of the city’s budget committee from 1994 to 2003."

Ford has said that he will run for re-election. Other potential opponents bandied about by the media and other political watchers during Ford's court troubles included councillors Adam Vaughan, Shelley Carroll, Denzil Minnan-Wong and Karen Stintz.

The next municipal election will take place in October 2014.