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Former councillor Giorgio Mammoliti to run for Toronto mayor

Controversial, bombastic former long-time Toronto city councillor Giorgio Mammoliti is running for mayor.

“We’ve lost a lot. We’ve lost a personality. I think our dignity is gone in a number of different ways,” said Mammoliti of the city as he made the announcement Wednesday on CP24, which he also posted on Twitter. “I want to clean it up.”

The Star could not immediately reach him for comment.

Mammoliti recently came in third in the Wasaga Beach mayoral race — he moved there after losing his council seat to a rival incumbent in 2018 after the Ford government halved the number of city councillors in Toronto, a plan that Mammoliti enthusiastically touted.

On Wednesday, Mammoliti stressed safety in public spaces and on the TTC will be a focus for him, including challenging “people that want to be mean to people … people that want to create an atmosphere that is dangerous in the city.”

The former NDP MPP spent 23 years on city council racking up a long list of stunts and bizarre proposals, including asking for a curfew to be placed on children and ripping off his shirt on the council floor to protest designating a nude beach at Hanlan’s Point.

In his last election for city councillor, he was criticized for using dehumanizing language about residents of community housing, calling some “cockroaches,” and once posing in front of a home in a Toronto Community Housing Corporation complex with a sledgehammer with the message: “Saving our community begins with knocking down social housing.”

Mammoliti, who was once the city’s chair of a homelessness task force under then-mayor Rob Ford, has also said people who are homeless should be forced off the street against their will.

Speaking to CP24 on Wednesday, he said the city could be using more tools to get people into housing immediately. He also appeared to criticize the city’s public health-led harm-reduction approach to the drug overdose crisis, including supervised consumption sites. “We’ve chosen to watch people take drugs, as opposed to saving their lives,” he said.

“We have to start listening to the families, listening to business owners, listening to everybody that has anything to say about the city left or right of the spectrum, and then create the policies to ensure that everybody’s got what they need in the city,” he said.

Alyshah Hasham is a Toronto-based reporter covering city hall and municipal politics for the Star. Reach her via email: ahasham@thestar.ca or follow her on Twitter: @alysanmati


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