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Ken Chan launches sleek election machine in Ward 27

Liberal-backed candidate talks business, history

Ken Chan appears to have lined up money and backers in his bid to become the next ward 27 city councillor.

In front of a vinyl custom-printed backdrop, outgoing councillor Kyle Rae and mayoral candidate George Smitherman gave short endorsements of Chan’s campaign.

Smitherman promised to support him — including financially — during the race. Chan is expected to split the Liberal Party political machinery and braintrust with Ward 27 rival Simon Wookey.

Chan gave a meandering kick-off speech, beginning with a history of the ward’s neighborhoods. It also included a heartfelt aside about finding a cure for ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), from which Chan’s father passed away several years ago.

Chan says that new ways of thinking are needed to attract the world’s top talent to Toronto.

“It’s about staying competitive,” he told supporters. “We cannot be complacent.”

The launch was held in Ryerson’s Cara Commons (named after the conglomerate that owns Harvey’s and Swiss Chalet). Chan called Ryerson president Sheldon Levy  a “visionary,” and praised the public-private partnership between Ryerson and the AMC multiplex at Yonge and Dundas, home of the school’s Digital Media Zone.

Chan, a former police officer, also praised the Church-Wellesley Village and Pride Toronto. He also took a moment to give credit to older queers in the audience.

“And a young gay man, I thank you for what you’ve done so that we can be who we are,” he said.

Chan is vying to replace Kyle Rae in a crowded contest for Ward 27. Other candidates include Kristyn Wong-Tam, Susan Gapka, Rob Salerno, Enza Anderson and Chris Tindal.

Municipal elections across the province are slated for Oct 25. Rae, who’s represented the area for 19 years, has said that he won’t be running again.