About the Ward

Roughly bordered by Highway 401 to the south, Midland Avenue to the west, Steeles to the north, and Neilson Road to the east, Scarborough North contains neighbourhoods like Agincourt, Milliken, Malvern, and Morningside Heights. It is one of the most diverse wards in the city—67 percent of residents are immigrants, and 92 percent identify as visible minorities. In the 2018 election, the ward had the lowest voter turnout in the city, electing Cynthia Lai.

Where the Candidates Stand

There are four candidates in the race for the Scarborough North city council seat, including incumbent Cynthia Lai. In the 2018 election, which was an open race after Chin Lee vacated the seat to run in the provincial election, Lai won with just 27 percent of the votes. She is facing three challengers, Phillip Francis, Virginia Jones, and Jamaal Myers (see their fact-checked bios in the next section).

The matrix below provides a head-to-head comparison of where council candidates stand on key issues. The Local combed through city council records to review all the decisions made over the last four years and identified a dozen votes that are the most telling on different issues: homelessness, transportation, housing, policing, taxes, and the environment. We then sent the challengers a survey asking them how they would have voted on those same 12 motions, adding the results to what we already know about how Lai voted.

Firstly, the participation rate in the survey was low—permitting a head-to-head comparison between Lai and Myers only.

Here Are the Takeaways:

  • Incumbent Cynthia Lai has mostly voted with Mayor John Tory (and other right-leaning councillors), and took conservative positions on taxes and policing; she opposed the mayor on the city renting toilets for encampments and banning above guideline rent increases in Housing Now units, voting no to both.
  • Jamaal Myers didn’t answer four of the questions, specifically votes related to policing, a property tax increase of an additional 2 percent, and toilets for encampments; on the issues that Myers voted on, he took progressive stances.

Information in Candidate Tracker was compiled and written by The Local’s team of journalists and fact checkers. City council candidates were emailed a questionnaire asking for information about their history, experience, and plans. They were also surveyed about their stances on twelve key votes that took place in the 2018-22 council term. Not all candidates were reachable or responded. The Local also conducted its own research to independently source and verify information about each city council and school trustee candidate. If you’re a candidate whose information is not here, please email us at elections@thelocal.to. Last updated: October 22, 2022.

Contributors: Inori Roy, Ann Marie Elpa, Nikky Manfredi, Danielle Orr, H.G. Watson, Emma Buchanan, Dhriti Gupta, Zeahaa Rehman, Neville Park, Nicholas Hune-Brown, Tai Huynh, Craig Madho, Steve Combes, and Lia Mattacchione.