Fringe Toronto mayoral candidate Xiao Hua Gong is demanding a recount and questioning the accuracy of the results, after losing massively to Olivia Chow earlier this week.
Despite receiving only 0.4% support in the official byelection, Gong highlighted a substantial difference in his support in a mock byelection conducted among Toronto students, where he received over 20% of the vote.
Gong took to social media, thanking his supporters while expressing concerns about the discrepancy between the two outcomes and its reflection of the true will of the citizens of Toronto.
Gong insisted on a recount that should be conducted under the supervision of government officials to ensure transparency and fairness. He claims he has already submitted a request for a recount to the city, although neither his campaign team nor the city of Toronto has updated on further developments.
According to the Municipal Elections Act, individuals who have reasonable grounds to doubt the election results can apply to the Superior Court of Justice for a recount within 30 days of the clerk’s declaration of the results. It remains unclear whether Gong has initiated such an application at this time.
The city clerk is scheduled to certify the election results on Wednesday, which may shed further light on the matter.
Who is Xiao Hua Gong?
Gong, who is a media entrepreneur, has gained attention with his extensive campaign efforts, including a media blitz of advertisements across the city, boldly declaring that he’s “here to rescue Toronto.”
Also known as Edward, Gong describes himself as a Canadian entrepreneur, director, artist, journalist, and corporate strategic planner. He immigrated to Canada from China in 2002 and founded Canadian National Television, a Chinese-language channel. Gong’s campaign promised to increase the police force, reduce property taxes, and provide free public transit for certain groups.
But his loud campaign has only drawn attention to his legal history. Gong’s company, Edward Enterprise International Group Inc., pleaded guilty in 2021 to operating a pyramid scheme and using forged documents. The scheme involved recruiting members in China who invested in health supplements and shares of a pharmaceutical company. Gong’s business promised significant returns, but the company dissolved, leaving approximately 40,000 victims and substantial monetary losses.
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