Special candidate running for mayor in Canada

Molly Dog is among the candidates wanting to replace John Tory, the Toronto mayor who resigned in February because of an affair.

More than 100 candidates, including a former police chief, a comedian and a dog, are vying for the chance to become mayor of Toronto, Canada’s largest city. The registration deadline is May 12 and the mayoral race will take place at the end of June.

One of the last candidates to register was 7-year-old Molly, a Russian female dog adopted from a rescue station. Molly’s owner, Toby Heaps, said Molly’s biggest concern is that the city uses salt to melt ice on the roads in the winter, causing her to have sore feet. Heaps said that if Molly wins, city council meetings will be “more civilized.”

“When there are animals in the meeting room, people tend to behave more kindly,” he said.

Another candidate is Meir Straus, 18 years old. Straus emphasized that he is the youngest candidate so he is in good health. He affirmed that he could not get caught up in an adultery scandal because he was not married.

John Tory, the mayor who was elected for three terms, suddenly resigned in February after admitting to having an affair with a former employee. His deputy, Jennifer McKelvie, is serving as interim mayor and is not running.

Olivia Chow, who came third in the 2014 mayoral election race won by Tory, is considered the current front-runner. Other potential candidates are former legislator Mitzie Hunter, councilors Ana Bailao, Brad Bradford and Josh Matlow, and former police chief Mark Saunders.

Doug Ford, Ontario’s premier, who has said he does not give election advice or comment, implicitly supported Saunders.

“We need someone with experience in dealing with crime. I believe we need someone who knows how to organize and has experience managing staff. We need someone who knows Toronto thoroughly, not just one area small that they represent, but must understand everything about Toronto,” Ford said.

Leading candidates are campaigning to change Toronto’s transportation system, address the cost of living crisis, and overhaul infrastructure. Early voting will start from June 8 to June 13. Election day is June 26.

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