Karen Stintz, who bowed out of the Toronto mayoral race on Thursday, has been a municipal politician for a decade.
She first announced her goal to hold the city’s top job last October and officially registered on Feb. 24. But she dropped out of the race six months later citing a lack of financial support.
Stintz, who has yet to throw her support behind any of the other mayoral candidates, said she is starting a new chapter, but did not expand on any future plans other than to get through next week’s council meeting and prepare her two children for the coming school year.
Born and raised in Toronto, Stintz ran for mayor because she said, “I believe Toronto needs to have a solution to congestion, a solution to our transit problem. We need to build safe neighbourhoods and we need to keep taxes low.”
She has been a city councillor since December 2003, representing Ward 16 Eglinton-Lawrence. And she was the TTC chair for three years until she stepped down in February.
In March, she told CityNews that “the first things I’d do at city hall is finance a plan to build the downtown relief line, put together the transportation czar so we can get the city moving and work on how we can improve access to our park spaces and green fields.”
Stintz said she was proud of her track record at city hall, saying she voted to outsource city garbage and voted to get labour contracts that were better for the city. She also said, “I voted for a number of initiatives to bring accountability to city hall and respect the taxpayer.”
According to her online biography, Stintz had worked in both the public and private sectors before holding office. She worked at a private health clinic and later as a public administrator with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
She and her husband Darryl Parisien volunteered for John Tory’s 2003 mayoral campaign. Later that year, she ran for office.
She has an undergraduate degree from Western University and a master’s degree in journalism from Boston University, as well as a master’s in public administration from Queen’s University.
Stintz and Parisien married in 1999.
Here’s a look back at her terms at Toronto City Hall:
Nov. 10, 2003: Stintz, who had never before held public office, is elected after answering an ad in a community newspaper. Residents in the Eglinton and Lawrence area want to unseat incumbent Anne Jackson, and select Stintz. She wins handily and, as a right-leaning councillor, goes on to clash often with then-mayor David Miller over the next seven years.
Oct. 19, 2009: Stintz, who had contemplated running to replace Miller, decides to again campaign for a council seat.
Oct. 15, 2010: Stintz, a fiscal conservative, is criticized for spending $2,650 on public speaking lessons.
2010: Mayor Rob Ford names Stintz TTC chair. Under two terms with Miller, Stintz had never been named to a committee. Ford later regrets the decision and his brother Doug Ford says in October 2013 the appointment was the “biggest mistake” the mayor ever made.
June 16, 2011: Stintz unveils the TTC’s suicide prevention program called Crisis Link in all subway stations. She also reveals that her mother suffers from schizophrenia, and has for over 30 years.
May 2013: Stintz leads a group of councillors who successfully push for a transit tax debate, overruling Mayor Ford. Council eventually rejects new taxes to fund transit.
June 28, 2013: Stintz receives a $110 ticket for a biking infraction and says she plans to fight the citation in court.
September 2013: Stintz, who initially supported a light-rail transit plan, votes in favour of the Scarborough subway.
Oct. 26, 2013: Stintz announces she will run for mayor in 2014.
Dec. 16, 2013: Stintz announces her resignation as TTC chair effective Feb. 22, 2014.
Feb. 24, 2014: Stintz officially enters the mayoral race and files nomination papers with the city clerk.
May 1, 2014: A series of new scandalous revelations prompts Mayor Ford to take a leave of absence and seek “immediate” professional help for what he calls a “problem with alcohol.” The leave comes amid reports of an audio tape featuring Ford ranting and making lewd comments about Stinz and his wife, Renata.
May 28, 2014: The TTC unanimously approves a motion by member Stintz to use a budget surplus of $47.7 million to avoid a fare increase in 2015.
June 10, 2014: Coun. Doug Ford says that a contact list from the mayor’s office was either taken or stolen and is now being used by Stintz in her Toronto mayoral bid. Stintz’s spokeswoman issues a statement saying, “We have people supporting Karen who have supported other candidates in the past, and we accept lists that are given to us.”
July 10, 2014: Stintz meets privately with Mayor Ford settling ill-feelings related to the lewd comments the mayor made about her. She says the two came to a resolution and both agreed the matter was closed. Shortly before Ford entered rehab in May, an audio recording was published by the Toronto Sun that captured an intoxicated mayor saying he would like to “f*****g jam” Stintz, among other damning comments.
Aug. 6, 2014: Stintz releases her five-point economic plan which includes a promise to hold the line on taxes and provide extra support for entrepreneurs and startups. She also pinpoints congestion as a major stumbling block for growth.
Aug. 21, 2014: Stintz announces she’s dropping out of the Toronto mayoral race, citing a lack of financial support.