Man who allegedly egged John Tory's window wants to replace him as mayor
The man accused of hurling eggs at John Tory's City Hall office window on the last day of the disgraced mayor's truncated third term now wants to replace him at Toronto's top job.
Well-known unhoused activist Jesse Allan, better known by his nom de guerre of Gru, has thrown his trademark cowboy hat into the ring for Toronto's upcoming mayoral by-election in June. Gru hopes to replace John Tory in a race that has swollen to a mind-boggling 67 candidates as of May 3.
#BREAKING— Caryma Sa'd - Lawyer + Political Satirist (@CarymaRules) May 1, 2023
The man who egged John Tory’s office has thrown his cowboy hat into the mayoral by-election ring.
The city clerk exercised discretion to allow the candidate’s chosen name “Gru” to appear on the ballot, despite that moniker not being used on government-issued ID. pic.twitter.com/N0jtc3zv2y
He is alleged to be the same man charged by police in the early morning February 17 egging of Tory's city hall office window, an event which made headlines on that final day of Tory's over two-term reign — cut short by a scandalous affair with a (much) younger former staffer.
Ran a little late for my appointment at City Hall this morning, but I guess it's now official!— Gru (@Gruesomebrat) May 1, 2023
Come June 26, y'all will be able to select @Gru4Mayor near the top of the ballot! pic.twitter.com/JbxbJKCWGd
Gru has not admitted to egging the former mayor's office window, though he did release a statement in April where he confirmed his arrest over the allegation, and even describes the hypothetical reasons why someone would want to pelt Tory's window with an unfertilized chicken embryo.
In his April statement, Gru explains that 533 unhoused persons lost their lives under Tory's administration, and describes egging Tory's city hall window as an "alleged act of civil disobedience."
My statement on my arrest Thursday at City Hall. pic.twitter.com/LBEMMG623k— Gru (@Gruesomebrat) April 4, 2023
Gru recently launched a website for his mayoral bid, though as of writing, it is still just a "coming soon" page. He has spoken to blogTO and other media about his platform, however, which focuses largely on addressing the housing and affordability crisis in Toronto.
You're in luck!— Gru4Mayor (@Gru4Mayor) May 2, 2023
Today may be the first day we're on the ballot, but Gru hasn't exactly been quiet recently about his opinion of Tory's decade of austerity. https://t.co/ZUIBuE6Xji pic.twitter.com/NYtTSGmbDl
In an interview with CP24, Gru spoke of his roots in the queer/trans communities, and the relevance of his firsthand experience as a formerly-unhoused person in Toronto to the current mayoral race.
While "housing, housing, housing" is a primary focus of this campaign, we recognize the intersectional nature of the housing crisis & must address the factors that lead marginalized ppl, including young trans ppl, to disproportionately find themselves with no safe place to sleep.— Gru4Mayor (@Gru4Mayor) May 2, 2023
Gru tells blogTO, "I have been homeless at many points in my life since I was fourteen years old, and even today, I struggle to make ends meet, just like countless people in this city. I know all too well how devastating bad decisions made at the top can be for those on the bottom."
He acknowledges that while there is much to love about Toronto, "over a dozen years of disastrous conservative leadership and austerity have taken a terrible toll. Years of municipal governance by people with no direct stake in the issues facing Torontonians has gotten us nowhere."
He argues that decisions should rest with "the people who are most informed, experienced, and capable of tackling the very real challenges facing our city are those of us with years of experience confronting and creatively strategizing around these challenges on the ground."
"People who experience homelessness, people trying to make ends meet, people who must endure the everyday struggles and indignities of life in Toronto in 2023 are traditionally the victims of the municipal government and its policies," added Gru.
His campaign marks a first in Toronto municipal politics, as Gru has been allowed by the City to include his nickname in official election documents, officially appearing on the ballot as "Gru Jesse Allan."
The new entry into the mayoral race has already drawn some critics, including lawyer Caryma Sa'd, who characterizes Gru as a "fringe candidate," alleging he has "earned several endorsements from Toronto antifaux (cosplay antifascists)."
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