Cynthia Lai, a Toronto city councilor, died on Friday, her re-election campaign revealed. Her death occurred just days before the municipal election on October 24, when she was running for re-election. “We regret to inform you that Councillor Cynthia Lai, Ward 23, Scarborough North, passed away this afternoon. At the hospital, she was surrounded by family, “According to the statement. Lai, who emigrated to Canada from Hong Kong in the 1970s, was competing for re-election against three other candidates in Monday’s municipal election. “Councillor Lai represents one of the city’s most diverse multicultural wards,” according to the statement.
Cynthia Lai Die ‘A pillar of the community:
Lai was in the hospital during the last council meeting in September, but when CBC Toronto inquired about her health two weeks later, a spokesperson from her office said the councilor was doing well. Before entering municipal politics, she worked in real estate. According to her biography on the municipal website and sat on the Real Estate Council of Ontario. TRREB president Kevin Crigger said in a statement Friday night that Lai was “a community leader” who “championed the interests of her constituents and delivered services to citizens that reflected the diverse make-up of her ward.”
The election for a council seat will take place:
If a candidate dies, another candidate will not be elected by acclamation. As a result, according to subsection 39(a) of the Municipal Elections Act, 1996 (MEA), the election proceeds as if the candidate had not been nominated. Given that three other candidates are competing for the Scarborough North council seat, the election will take place on Monday, Oct. 24, the city said. The city announced in a statement Friday night that the ballots for election day had already been printed and could not be updated in time. “On election day, news of the candidate’s death will be made accessible to Scarborough North, Ward 23’s approximately 61,100 voters at all 35 voting locations,” the city stated in a statement.
Tory describes Lai’s service as one of “gracefulness and dignity.”
Her council colleagues were shocked to learn of her passing. Mayor John Tory expressed amazement at the news in a statement. “Cynthia Lai represented Ward 23, Scarborough North, with such grace and distinction for the previous four years,” Tory remarked. “She was such a cheerful and warm presence at city hall, and I know I speak for her fellow city council members when I say she will be sadly missed.” Meanwhile, Tory says the Toronto sign was turned off Friday night in tribute to Lai.
Everyone Pays Tribute Cynthia Lai Death:
Lai’s council colleagues and friends have paid tribute on social media. Coun. Josh Matlow of Toronto-St. Paul’s Ward expressed his condolences. “I’m devastated by the death of my friend, Cynthia Lai,” former city councilor Kristyn Wong-Tam said on Twitter. “Even though we voted differently, Cynthia and I clicked. Immigrants and ESL speakers are both welcome. She was generous and kind. We called each other “sisters.” Big and small. Cynthia was devoted to her family and her hometown. She’ll be sorely missed.”
Coun. Jennifer McKelvie, who represented Scarborough-Rouge Park in the city council and was elected the same year as Lai, said her late colleague always made her grin. “I think everyone in Scarborough is heartbroken to hear the news tonight about our friend and colleague councilor Cynthia Lai,” McKelvie told CBC Toronto. “Certainly, all of our thoughts and sentiments are focused towards her family, friends, fans, and campaign team,” she continued. “I’m deeply saddened to read of Councillor Cynthia Lai’s passing,” he tweeted. “My sympathies are with her friends, family, and constituents.”
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