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Olivia Chow assumes the position of Mayor of Toronto.

Olivia Chow officially assumed the position of Mayor of Toronto today. The 66-year-old politician is the first person of color to lead Canada's most populous city and has committed to building what she calls a more inclusive and affordable city.

Chow, a former NDP Member of Parliament and city councillor, defeated 101 other candidates to win last month's by-election for mayor to replace John Tory. Her victory puts a progressive in Toronto's highest office for the first time in over a decade.

It also comes at a time when Toronto is facing pressing issues, including an almost $1 billion deficit in this year's budget, largely driven by declining transit revenues and rising housing costs.

A city staff report indicates that there are enough COVID-19 reserve funds set aside to prop up this year's budget, but without further funding, the cushion would be insufficient to cover next year's projected deficit of up to $927 million.

Chow has pledged to get the local government back in the business of building social housing and spend millions to acquire and preserve affordable units.

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