Canada’s Largest City Turns Hard Left

Olivia Chow celebrates with supporters after being declared the winner in the race for mayor of Toronto at an election night rally, on June 26, 2023 in Toronto, Canada.
Ian Willms/Getty Images

Canada’s Largest City Turns Hard Left

Toronto’s new mayor plans for radical change.

Another glass ceiling has been broken. Olivia Chow was sworn in as the 66th mayor of Toronto on July 12. She is the first person of color to be mayor of Canada’s largest city, emigrating from Hong Kong with her family at age 13. Her election victory follows the resignation of former Mayor John Tory over being caught in an affair with a staffer. This ends nearly a decade of “Conservative” leadership in the city.

“Today is a day for renewal,” Chow said in her maiden speech. “In the face of our shared challenges, the message was loud and clear. People want change.” The city is facing a nearly $1 billion per year deficit, rising homelessness, a housing crisis and unaffordably high prices. But as Chow said, “Even in the face of those steep challenges, people sent a clear message that change is not only possible, it’s absolutely necessary.”

There is always hope in the promise of change. But the kind of change Chow is promising is radical transformation.

It is important to understand that in Canadian politics, there is no such thing as right-wing Conservatives. That breed went extinct years ago. “Conservative” in Canada means center-left socially, and maybe fiscally conservative. Everything has been skewed far left. In Toronto, Tory and other mayors had the Conservative label, but championed left-wing policies. Now a radical Communist activist is in charge.

Chow has been in Canadian politics for a long time, winning her first election for the Toronto school board in 1985. She has served in various posts within municipal and federal politics and is the widow of Jack Layton, who was the leader of the New Democratic Party from 2003 to 2011. Layton was a radical who influenced Canadian policies to the left. In 1990, Chow and Layton were embroiled in the “Co-op Controversy” when they were caught living in a subsidized apartment with $800-a-month rent yet had a combined income of $120,000 per year. Chow is even more radical than her late husband.

The new mayor is importing American activism into Canadian community organizing and politics. Chow’s mentor is Marshall Ganz, the famous civil rights and union organizer, who is now the Rita T. Hauser Senior Lecturer in Leadership, Organizing and Civil Society at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. His Harvard biography says: “He found a ‘calling’ as an organizer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and, in the fall of 1965, joined Cesar Chavez in his effort to unionize California farm workers. During 16 years with the United Farm Workers he gained experience in union, political and community organizing.” Prior to 1965, Chavez joined the Community Service Organization (cso) and learned activism from a man named Fred Ross. Ross was hired in 1947 to found the cso by Saul Alinsky.

Alinsky is the father of radical left activism and community organizing. In his 1971 book Rules for Radicals, Alinsky outlined the playbook for effecting change in society through revolution. He dedicated the book to “the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom—Lucifer.”

In Chapter 1, Alinsky wrote:

What follows is for those who want to change the world from what it is to what they believe it should be. The Prince was written by Machiavelli for the haves on how to hold power. Rules for Radicals is written for the have-nots on how to take it away.

In this book we are concerned with how to create mass organizations to seize power and give it to the people. … This means revolution.

Community organizing is merely code for class warfare and Communist revolution. This was foundational to the education of Marshall Ganz.

In the 1980s, Ganz left union work and began working in political campaigns, specifically in voter registration, get-out-the-vote efforts and organizing. Ganz helped Nancy Pelosi’s congressional political campaign. His specialty is building a public narrative and using that to sway voters. In 2008, Ganz helped organize Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. He focused on building a narrative, a relationship with voters, instead of a platform. This is why Obama is the “hope and change guy”—brought to you by Communist revolutionaries.

After Chow took a break from politics in 2016, she established the Institute for Change Leaders. This is Canada’s premier school on Alinsky social organizing. The “Vision Statement” on the website reads: “People seeking social justice create change in Canada by learning practical and effective organizing skills.” The four core values are social justice, empowerment, impact and equity. The website continues: “The institute offers the first accredited Marshall Ganz-based community-organizing course in Canada.” If you want to know what Chow’s term as mayor will be like, look no further.

The activists have become the leaders. Chow’s chief of staff is Michal Hay, who was the executive director of Progress Toronto, an activist group that focuses on equality and low-income housing.

In fact, Chow’s first priority is trying to solve Toronto’s housing crisis. Her solution is to raise property taxes to fund the building of 25,000 rent-controlled buildings. This is going to be a major step toward the government controlling real estate in the city.

Chow is also planning on making rental supplements for the growing homeless population, being fueled by the federal governments aggressive immigration policy. National Newswatch reported:

Adding to a sense of urgency, the city has been deadlocked with the federal government over a request to provide more money to help house asylum seekers, with the city recently instituting a policy of turning away those applicants from at-capacity shelters toward federal programs. … [Chow] pressed Ottawa for an additional $160 million to help shelter refugees, calling it a federal responsibility.

Toronto was an asylum city, but there isn’t any more space to house refugees. Radicals use crises like this to make radical change.

To make matters worse, Toronto was bestowed with “strong mayor” powers by the province. This allows the mayor to set priorities and veto city council decisions, even vetoing bylaws to advance a certain agenda. Chow has promised not to use these powers, but no politician has ever not used authority granted to them by legislation.

As one example, Toronto’s 2023 Pride Parade featured naked men walking in front of little children. The Toronto Police said this kind of exposure is OK as long as it is at a pride parade. Olivia Chow herself took part in the parade. What will the next year’s parade be like under her leadership?

The reason this is significant is that Toronto has around 4 million people—10 percent of Canada’s entire population. Toronto also has 24 federal ridings—14 percent of the number needed to form a government. Whoever wins the cities, specifically Toronto, has the best chance of ruling the country. The radical Alinsky activist-turned-mayor now governs and influences 10 percent of Canadians and the key region to win federal elections. Toronto is taking a hard left turn, and the effects will be felt far outside the city.

The same kind of radical Communist policies and tactics Obama used to transform America are coming to Toronto. The late Herbert W. Armstrong warned that our institutions would be infiltrated by Communists who wanted to transform our democracies into dictatorships. Community organizers like Saul Alinsky, Cesar Chavez and Marshall Ganz were the tip of the spear during the civil rights era. Now, the infiltration is in the political leadership. The revolution is nearly complete, as the activists hold the power to change society through our own institutions. We are living in the time of 2 Kings 14:26-27, where we have no helper as our leaders work to blot out our countries. Our leaders are destroyers, not helpers.

God is correcting our sin-laden societies. Our bitter affliction of economic problems, high costs, tyrannical government, sexual perversion and homelessness is only going to get worse until we turn to God in real repentance— turning away from a lifestyle of sin to a lifestyle of obedience. Each individual can make this choice. Each individual can be blessed instead of living through curses.

To understand more about this infiltration and future events, please read America Under Attack, by Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry.