Wong-Tam in 2018
|Toronto City Councillor for (Ward 13) Toronto Centre|
Ward 27 (2010-2018)
|Assumed office |
December 1, 2010
|Preceded by||Kyle Rae|
|Born||1971 (age 48–49)|
|Occupation||Real Estate Agent, businesswoman, politician|
Kristyn Wong-Tam (Listen) (born c. 1971) is a Canadian politician. She is councillor for Ward 13 - Toronto Centre, formerly Ward 27, since 2010. She was elected to Toronto City Council in the 2010 city council election to replace Kyle Rae who had chosen to retire, defeating opponent Ken Chan in the heated race by just 400 plus votes. She was re-elected in 2014, and again in 2018 in the newly redistricted ward boundaries.
Born in Hong Kong and raised in a Buddhist family, she immigrated to Toronto with her family in 1975. She grew up in the Regent Park neighbourhood of Toronto, with her family settling there first before a move to the suburbs. A real estate agent and business owner, she is the former owner of a Timothy's franchise in Toronto's Church and Wellesley Village, and the owner of the KWT (formerly the XEXE) contemporary art gallery at Bathurst and Richmond Street West.
Wong-Tam, who is a Canadian of Chinese origin, came out as a lesbian in high school, at the age of 16 and has been an activist for both LGBTQ and Asian Canadian community issues, serving on the Chinese Canadian National Council and helping to found Asian Canadians For Equal Marriage and the Church and Wellesley Village's business improvement area. In 2011, she cooperated with Toronto's Lesbian Gay Bi Trans Youth Line to create an award, named in memory of Toronto artist Will Munro, to honour LGBT youth involved in community arts projects in Ontario.
Prior to the 2010 Toronto municipal election, it emerged that Wong-Tam had provided support for the political advocacy group Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QuAIA). In an interview with the Toronto Sun newspaper, she said that she lent her credit card to register the group's website because no one in the group owned a credit card. Wong-Tam "listed her home address in the registration but gave the contact number as her Coldwell Banker real estate office on Yonge St." Wong-Tam was the registered owner of the site until August 31, 2010.
In the 2010 election, Wong-Tam was endorsed by the Toronto and York Labour Council. She was also supported by neighbouring councillor Adam Vaughan, street nurse Cathy Crowe and author Michele Landsberg.
Wong-Tam, in a post-election interview with the Toronto Sun, says that she is "really looking forward to working with the Mayor" and that she supports Mayor Rob Ford's campaign pledge to scrap the personal vehicle tax and the land transfer tax. She also noted that she did not renew her New Democratic Party membership, saying: "I think all (council) rookies are saying the same thing – they don't want to be pigeon-holed."
In the lead up to the 2018 Toronto municipal election, City Council approved a redrawing of municipal ward boundaries, increasing its size from 44, after an independent consultant recommended the City adopt a 47 ward system. However, the Ontario government under Progressive Conservative Premier Doug Ford amended the Municipal Elections Act, forcing the City of Toronto government to cut the size of its City Council from 47, plus the Mayor, to 25, plus the Mayor. There was swift reaction regarding this move from various council members, including Wong-Tam, who called the move "extremely anti-democratic" and described it "as a takeover of Toronto." Wong-Tam said in an interview "This greater concentration of power does not give and deliver better government", and "He [Ford] will speak in populist platitudes about saving taxpayer dollars, but it's going to come at the cost of the erosion of the democratic process."
|2018 Toronto Election, Ward 13 - Toronto Centre|
|(*) Kristyn Wong-Tam (X)||15,706||50.26%|
|(*) Lucy Troisi||2,698||8.63%|
|Walied Khogali Ali||1,408||4.51%|
|2014 Toronto election, Ward 27|
|(*) Kristyn Wong-Tam (X)||19,682||62.49%|
|2010 Toronto election, Ward 27|
|Kristyn Wong-Tam (X)||7,527||28.277%|
(*) indicates incumbent candidate
(X) indicates elected
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- Jul 26, CBC News · Posted; July 27, 2018 10:09 PM ET | Last Updated; 2018. "Ontario will introduce legislation to slash Toronto city council — a move not welcomed by some | CBC News". CBC. Retrieved 2019-01-03.
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