gabriel magalhaes brad bradford

Toronto politician ratioed for campaign video about the latest TTC murder

One Toronto politician is picking up lots of criticism after filming a video calling for increased safety measures on the TTC days after 16-year-old Gabriel Magalhaes was fatally stabbed in an unprovoked attack at Keele subway station

Brad Bradford, City Councillor for Ward 19 Beaches-East York, has served on Toronto City Council since 2018 and has been the chair of the planning and housing committee since 2022. 

There is growing suspicion that Bradford could potentially announce his intention to run for Mayor of Toronto in the June 26 by-election, but no concrete plans have been announced as of yet. 

The 36-year-old politician uploaded a nearly 90-second clip to Twitter on Tuesday morning, urging the TTC to "put to work" its $15 million emergency safety fund to deter future instances of violence. 

"We are grappling, as a city, with folks who have mental health challenges, substance abuse, poverty, all of that is playing out on the TTC," Bradford says in the video. "What are we doing about it? It is taking way too long." 

Throughout the clip, the politician calls for the $15 million emergency safety fund at the TTC to be translated into supports, and encourages collaboration with the federal and provincial governments to ensure long-term funding is secured. 

However, some people weren't too happy with Bradford's use of the current circumstances to advocate for certain changes. 

Others believed that the politician was using the devastating news to further his "political agenda." 

One person suggested that Bradford doesn't actually use public transit often, and instead was using it as a "photo opportunity." 

More people chimed in, commenting that the TTC background was simply a "prop." 

This isn't the first time Bradford has been accused of facilitating a "PR stunt." Just last month, the politician received lots of criticism for filming a video outside a Scarborough Jamaican patty shop, with many suggesting that Bradford used the visit to gain popularity.

Others called on Bradford to take some accountability for the recent spike in incidents throughout the transit network. 

One person noted that the victim's mother herself is calling for stronger social services to address the root cause of the issue. 

A GoFundMe page for Gabriel was created on Tuesday morning by Melissa Blow, who is a friend and colleague of the victim's mother. 

"Gabriel was 16, and he had so many dreams. He has a zest for life like no other. He was loved beyond meaning. Andrea always speaks so highly of both of her boys. She was so proud to be his mother," the page reads. 

At the time of writing, the page has already raised over $14,000 out of its $50,000 goal.

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