Toronto Mayoral Election: Ana Bailão and the great defeat

TORONTO – She is the great loser of these elections: Ana Bailão. It’s her, because she had all the credentials to win, from the first to the last, but maybe she didn’t manage to play them well, even though it is evident that she, personally, gave her all. But what were her aces up her sleeve? 

First, the political precedents. She was a Toronto City Councilwoman from 2010 to 2022, winning three consecutive elections (2010, 2014, and 2018) and opting out of running in 2022; she served as deputy mayor of Toronto from 2017 to 2022. Additionally, during her terms, she served on the Executive Committee and served as chair of the Planning and Housing Committee, working extensively on housing issues (her portfolio as deputy mayor included responsibility for housing), key positions given the importance and delicacy of the sectors managed.

Then, the endorsements. During the electoral campaign, she collected many and the most varied, some of which were quite heavy: the outgoing mayor John Tory, the outgoing deputy mayor Jennifer McKelvie, eight city councilors in office, two former mayors of Toronto and four former city councilors, a provincial parliamentarian and two former provincial parliamentarians, eleven federal parliamentarians and then, again: public unions and above all private unions, in particular those in the construction sectors (Carpenters and Liuna in primis). And a newspaper too: the Toronto Star.

Finally, the origins: Ana Bailão was born on August 10, 1976 in Vila Franca de Xira, Portugal, and is a former resident of Alenquer. Her family moved to Canada and she settled in Davenport when she was 15 (and here in Toronto she attended West Toronto Collegiate and the University of Toronto, where she earned degrees in Sociology and European Studies). Portuguese and genuine Canadian, both, therefore: she should have had the entire Portuguese community of Toronto, one of the most numerous, on her side.

Despite this “volume of fire”, Ana Bailão finished in second place, close to Olivia Chow (235,175 votes against the winner’s 269,372) but behind her. Ana was the only one who could counter Olivia’s “merry war machine”: both with a political past, with many endorsements, immigrants, members of minorities and women.

Ana, we said, gave it her all and the only regret she can have is that in the “centre”, where she was positioned, there were too many candidates of weight. If she had been the only one, things would – perhaps – have turned out differently. Anyway congratulations. To losers and winners.

In the photo above, Ana Bailão with her volunteers (from Twitter – @anabailaoTO)