After six months of knocking on doors, recruiting volunteers whose ages ranged from 5 to 85, and organizing “sis-boom-bah” events at seemingly every street corner and transit hub in her ward, councillor Jaye Robinson watched tonight’s municipal results at home with her family before taking off to celebrate with hundreds of supporters at the Miller Tavern on Yonge Street.
“I owe them everything,” said the newly returned Ward 25 councillor, who swept back into power with an astonishing 17,000-plus margin over nearest rival Richard Friedman. “My supporters worked night and day.
“I’m overwhelmed by it, I’m humbled by it, and I can’t thank them enough for helping me return to office.”
To much of the city, Robinson, a first-time councillor who had spent two decades working at City Hall before winning a seat on council in 2010, first became known as a member of Rob Ford’s inner circle. She was famously the only woman to serve on the outgoing mayor’s executive council, before being fired in June 2013.
That termination, she said, was the result of asking Ford to take a leave of absence, the first of what turned out to be many disagreements with the former mayor and his brother Doug.
Doug Ford, who stepped in to complete his brother’s re-election bid when the mayor was diagnosed with cancer in September, finished second to John Tory tonight.
“I spoke up and I’m proud of that accomplishment,” said Robinson, adding that many supporters also congratulated her for taking positions against the Fords regarding waterfront, arts, culture and hardship (dental care for the elderly) funding.
More locally, Robinson says she is proud of her push to reform the Ontario Municipal Board and the city’s committee of adjustment, her efforts to protect the city’s tree canopy and more than 40 traffic and pedestrian safety issues.
Robinson said she plans to focus on transit in her second term.
“Transit, transit, transit — that’s all I heard about the door,” she said. “On a local level, neighbourhood safety issues are a big problem as well.”
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