Former Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders to run for Ontario PCs in June election

Mark Saunders, the former Toronto police chief, will run for Ontario’s PC party in the upcoming June election, the party announced Tuesday.

Saunders is set to run in the riding of Don Valley West, which Liberal Kathleen Wynne has held since 2003.

Wynne, the former premier of the province who lost the last election to Doug Ford, has already announced that she will not run again. Instead, the Ontario Liberals will lead Stephanie Bowman, a former Bank of Canada board member.

The PC party called Saunders a “dedicated community leader” in a press release and Saunders said he was honored to be selected.

Ford, who lost two cabinet members and a number of other candidates ahead of the June 2 election, welcomed Saunders’ arrival.

“There’s no one I’d rather have on the ballot in Don Valley West than Mark,” Ford said.

Saunders resigned from the Toronto Police Service in the summer of 2020 after five years working as the city’s first black chief and has had ties to the Ontario government ever since.

Last May, the provincial government appointed him special advisor for the redevelopment of Ontario Place, the former amusement park on the city’s waterfront. CBC News confirmed Tuesday that he had resigned from the position, which paid up to $171,500 a year.

Saunders was also part of the task force on the distribution of COVID-19 in Ontario.

“This is a critical time in Ontario’s history as we recover from the effects of the pandemic, and it’s clear the PC Party of Ontario has a solid plan to build a better future,” said he said in a press release.