Olivia has been in your corner for decades. 

As an advocate, school board trustee, Toronto City Councillor, member of the City’s budget committee, and local Member of Parliament, she has taken on some of our city’s biggest challenges and delivered solutions that make people’s lives better – even when people said it couldn’t be done.

Olivia knows people are feeling frustrated by the state of our city - we’re all tired of feeling stuck. Stuck in traffic, stuck waiting for the bus, stuck not being able to afford a home, or stuck on waiting lists for child care or other basic services. That’s not acceptable in a city with so much potential.

Olivia is running to be Toronto’s next mayor and to make the city more caring, affordable, and safer for everyone. A city where everyone belongs.

Throughout her life and career, Olivia has been motivated by one thing: making life better for the people in her community. That’s what drives her. 

Born in Hong Kong, Olivia moved to Toronto with her parents when she was thirteen. She lived in St. James Town, and her mother’s income as a maid supported her family. Times were difficult.

Winning her first election in 1985, she served on the Toronto Board of Education for six years. In 1991, Olivia became the first Asian-born woman elected as a Metro Toronto Councillor.

Olivia used her office to create lasting programs that help hundreds of thousands of families in Toronto each year. Programs like free dental care for children in poverty and the school breakfast and lunch program that helps kids focus on their teachers, not their hunger.

In 2006, Olivia took her fight to Ottawa as a Member of Parliament. Recognizing the needs of the constituents in her Toronto riding, she introduced legislation for universal child care and improving public transit.

Olivia married Jack Layton in 1988, and they forged one of Canada's most remarkable political partnerships. Together they inspired millions of Canadians to fight for progress and hope for the future.

Since 2016, Olivia has been focused on training the next generation of progressive leaders to make change in their communities. As founder and executive director of the Institute for Change Leaders, she has personally helped thousands of people channel their passion and ideas into action.

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