I almost fell off my chair when I heard a couple beside me telling me that Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown resigned early this morning over allegations of sexual assault dating back many, many years.
I have spoken to some so-called party insiders who felt that Brown would not be able to defeat Kathleen Wynne and her Liberal government in the upcoming election. I got the feeling that they really wanted him out and that removing him was more important than beating Wynne.
I also know several people who know Brown personally who say that he is absolutely lovely. Bright, articulate, passionate, and a real family man who speaks of the influence that his sisters had on him, and that these allegations seem very unusual and come at a very “strategic” time.
It’s all really confusing.
Nonetheless, if these allegations are true – and right now there is no reason to believe they are not – I feel bad for the victims.
But this could be a good thing for the Ontario PC’s – not the reasons for Brown resigning – but in the aftermath. The actions by Brown to step down amid the allegations was swift and should reinforce the PC’s position on sexual assault. It also provides the PC’s an opportunity to get into the race to replace Wynne by putting a strong candidate to lead the party, and there are many, many strong candidates who I feel would fit the bill.
News reports have put forward the names, Caroline Mulroney, and Lisa MacLeoud, and while I respect these women, I feel there are a few others who would do what the PC’s and Ontarians need.
First off, Christine Elliott, the wife of the late Jim Flaherty (former Federal Finance Minister), who has served as an Ontario legislator for nine years and who lost the PC leadership to Brown, would be a great Premier, as would Rona Ambrose, who led the Federal Conservative party up until she stepped down so that the new leader Andrew Shneer could assume the role.
I think right away these 2 candidates give the PC’s a known commodity, with strong leadership and vision and could re-energize the election race and stop the Liberals from continuing to ruin our province.
I felt Brown’s platform was fantastic and that if it got more press, Ontarians would see how badly we need a change of government in Ontario.
Hopefully going forward all of the issues can be resolved and we can begin the process to move forward.
International Woman’s Day (previous called International Working Woman’s Day, originating in 1909) was March 8th this year and the focus of the day ranged from general celebration of respect, appreciation and love towards women to celebrations for women’s economic, political and social achievements. This day began as a Socialist political event, and in some countries it has morphed into a day for men to express their love for women in a way somewhat similar to a mixture of Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day, while in many countries, the political and human rights theme designated by the United Nations runs strong, and political and social awareness of the struggles of women worldwide are brought out and examined in a hopeful manner.
In Toronto, a very odd event came to light on this day, which may or may not have occurred, the previous night at an event for CJPAC.
Sarah Thomson, the editor of the Woman’s Post and who ran for the mayor’s office in 2010, claimed on both social media and in several interviews that Mayor Rob Ford grabbed her buttocks (“Grabbed my ass” were her exact words on the radio) while taking a photo with Ford at the event. Ms. Thomson also said in an interview that Ford suggested to her that evening that she should have been in Florida with him because his wife was not there.
Ms. Thomson also posted a very unflattering picture of the Mayor on her Facebook page – his eyes were closed and there was either a stain on his shirt or he was sweating a lot.
In a radio interview, she continued to pile on the accusations by suggesting that Ford was high on cocaine that night. Apparently she Googled cocaine use and concluded that “…it’s, you know, sweaty, talking quickly, out of it, arrogant. Like all these things were on there.”
While Thomson has continued to stand by her allegations, she has also thrown her own allegation into doubt because she said, “I looked up the symptoms and it looked like it was cocaine use, it could have been anything like that, I’m not sure what it is. I’ve also read that diabetes could have some odd effects. I’m not sure what was wrong with him, but there was definitely something wrong with him that night.” Oops. Cocaine, diabetes… Well, he was “erratic” and “arrogant” that night so it might have been one of those.
When Thomson was asked if she’d ever taken cocaine herself, she said she didn’t know, as she spent time on the street in her youth.
But it gets even more odd from here…
Two councillors from Richmond Hill, who were at the event, were part of a crowd when Thomson allegedly was devising a plot to get a photo of the mayor’s hand on her assistant’s rear end. She planned on using this “evidence” to corroborate her story and she told the group it would be put to good use when she ran for Mayor again in 2014.
Thomson has ruled out pressing sexual assault charges against Ford; “It’s a big waste of time to go through the legal procedures,” Thomson said. “Now, I looked at it and I realized I had no proof.”
Thomson put herself at risk of being sued by making the public allegations against Ford.
The mayor had responded to her accusations on Friday in a written statement calling them “absolutely, completely false.”
Thomson responded to the mayor’s comments by saying that HE was trying to discredit HER. “Decades ago powerful men who sexually assaulted women would call them ‘hysterical,’ or ‘crazy’ to debase their credibility,” Thomson said. “It pushed many assaulted women into silence…. He will not push me into silence and I hope his accusations do not re-ignite the old fears that once silenced women.”
Thomson went on to say, “I did not make these accusations lightly.” And as for her hopes of one day being Mayor, she said the approach she took may not have been the best one; “I admit I did not handle the press perfectly.”
The problem here is not about he said vs she said, or is drawn along political lines. It’s about a very serious allegation, made on a very important day and what the implications are if one of these parties is not telling the truth. Since Ms. Thomson has in fact announced in public that she was sexually ‘assaulted’ by the Mayor of Toronto (in front of dozens of people no less) then I would think the police are duty-bound to investigate it to see if there are sufficient grounds for charges against the Mayor.
If it turns out however that this was just a politically motivated, vexatious, stunt by the publisher of a women’s-only magazine made purposely on the eve of International Women’s Day then of course SHE should be criminally charged with public mischief and making false accusations.
Criminal sexual assault is a very serious crime. Making public, false, allegations about it are equally so.
At the end of the day, this is very sad because either Sarah Thomson was assaulted by Rob Ford on the eve of International Woman’s Day, or Sarah Thomson was playing the victim and trying to set up the Mayor in order to further ruin his reputation and ultimately for her political gain.
Given the recent troubles Ford has had publicly under the attack of the left, a situation like this certainly causes people to question Ford’s ability to lead and make many people wonder if he is promoting a good image of Toronto for the rest of the world to see. In light of the recent information revealed by Georgio Mammoliti we know the left have been targeting the reputations of right-wing politicians.
One of these two people made a horrible decision on the eve of International Woman’s Day.
Shame on him if it’s true and shame on her if it’s not.