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Toronto through the eyes of Sarah Thomson

Posted by Tomasz Bugajski / July 21, 2010

sarah thomsonSarah Thomson is going into the last hundred days of Toronto's municipal election as one of the top five candidates. But the rest of the campaign will be an uphill battle, as opinion polls have consistently put her behind George Smitherman and Rob Ford. The good news for her team is that the real campaign season hasn't even begun.

In possibily a sign of things to come, at Tuesday's CP24 debate, Thomson was more aggressive than usual--apparently a necessary tactic in what's becoming a slug-fest campaign.

In addition to reducing city spending, Thomson has built her campaign around expanding Toronto's subway system. Her plan calls for 58km of new subway instead of Transit City's 120km of LRT lines. The financing would include placing rush hour or congestion tolls on the Gardiner and the DVP, partnering with private developers, and issuing a special subway bond.

Thomson wants to expand the Sheppard line to the Scarborough Town Centre and the University-Spadina line to York University, build an Eglinton subway line running from Kennedy station in the east to Pearson Airport in the west, and add a downtown relief line along Queen St. linking up with Pape and Dundas West stations.

Thomson is 42 and was born in Toronto. At 18, she already managed and owned a company leasing service stations throughout Ontario, and by the time she turned 30, her business was a multi-million dollar operation. At 28, she had her first taste of politics when she ran and lost in a Hamilton city council race. Recently, in 2002, she established the Women's Post, a magazine geared towards businesswomen, which she manages to this day.

Thomson has been married to her husband, Greg--director of Charity Intelligence in Toronto--for eight years. They have two boys, aged four and five and live downtown. And when Thomson isn't busy, with the Women's Post or campaigning, she can often be found relaxing at the Rebel House.

It's been more than six months since you've entered this race and so far no poll has put you above third place. Does that bother you?

No, not at all. We've spent no money on advertising...So the fact that we've got to third place, without advertising and without really spending any money, is pretty remarkable. Our goal right now is to move from third and go towards first. As long as we're first on October 25, that's what matters.

Most of the race's candidates have adopted a fiscally conservative platform. Has this made it harder for you to stand out as a fiscal conservative?

I'm actually pleased that we're talking about the waste of our tax dollars at city hall. People are addressing it now, so it was nice to be able to bring it out and get it as part of the dialogue.

I think once people get to know me, at the end of the day I'm the only one who isn't a politician. And really it's about 'who can you trust?'...

Do you think you've faced any disadvantages as a woman?

I think a lot of people want change. And I'm getting a lot of people, both men and women, saying it's time we had a woman in the lead. So no, I don't think there are any disadvantages.

There was a professor who said: "She's only there because she's a woman, " which was really frustrating because we've worked so hard, not just me but my whole team. And that was a little bit demoralizing for my team to hear that.

To me, the fact that I'm a woman hasn't really hurt or added. It's really been a matter of people saying we need change, and a woman's face brings change.

I've really tried to own the conversation, and I think we have. I've wanted to talk about the wasted spending at city hall, and I wanted to talk about transit and the desperate need we have for it. I've pretty much put that on the debate, so that's what I'm very proud of...

sarah thomsonWhat are the differences between men and women?

When you have 30 percent women in a boardroom it changes the dynamic. You don't have this "top dog" confrontational dynamic anymore. It turns into a more collaborative environment, so that's why I'm a strong advocate of more women at city hall. If you see a smart woman, vote for her.

[Women bring] a more collaborative process; they're able to build consensus more, they tend to be multi-taskers, and they really look at "how?" more than "this is a great policy and it's great because of this..." Women tend to be more like: "yeah, great policy, but how are we going to do it?"

...A lot of my policies are female [in this sense]. Let's open up and bring in the public and ask them where they want the exits on their subways? And how do they want to use their parks? etc., instead of telling them...

How did the idea of running for mayor first come to you?

My husband and I were on our way to the cottage and I heard on the radio that David Miller wasn't going to run, and I thought: I could do that job. And because the Women's Post has been so successful, the challenge from it was gone. I was looking at what I should do next and [for the next challenge].

You left home at 15. What happened?

I was 15, I was headstrong, and I knew better...I left home to stay with friends. My father and I didn't get along, and my father and my other siblings didn't get a long either...We fought over hormonal issues...

So I left home for three months. I stayed with my sister, I stayed with friends, I stayed with new friends, and I stayed with people I just met. When I couldn't find someone, I slept on some park benches, and I stayed at a shelter...

[However], I never felt I was "homeless," like the press has called me. I never felt that, because I always felt I had a home I could go back to. And I did come back home, re-entered school, and sorted out the direction I wanted to go with my life...

What does Conrad Black's endorsement mean to you?

[The endorsement] surprised me. I've always read [his columns] because he's an excellent writer, and he's a strategic thinker...

So I was reading [the endorsement article], and when I got to the last paragraph I was so surprised--because I've known him more on an industry level...through a little bit of competitiveness in a funny way, because he had this huge empire and I had my little magazine poking at his advertising dollars. I thought: "Wow, that's quite a tip of the hat to me."

I went to him originally to see if he'd back me [financially for the Women's Post], and he said, "No, it'll never work." He's changed his thinking now. He's said, "hats off to you; you made it work."

An endorsement from him is more of a personal pride thing where somebody that built an empire can recognize that I was able to build something on a smaller level that actually achieved success.

I don't know if this, politically, is a good thing or a bad thing. I found that I'm getting more respect from the older generation who know that he's built empires...

And does it bother you that he's been convicted of fraud?

Who knows what the courts will turn up...So I don't know what to think until the whole appeal process goes through.

sarah thomsonHow do you think Bill Blair handled the G20?

I don't think any of us know enough about what happened, and I believe there needs to be a civic inquiry into this.

I think Bill Blair can learn from the civic inquiry, and it's essential so that we do not make the same mistakes again...If people's human rights were trampled we can never do that again...I don't believe in [having only an internal police inquiry], you need to have the public judging it.

One of my volunteers, who was sitting in a restaurant, videotaped the police stopping a guy they were searching and were being really rough with. The policeman saw [my volunteer] and came into the restaurant and erased the tape. There's no reason for that needs to be addressed.

The police need to learn from this, and now they're going around asking people for the video tapes that they destroyed...

[However], I tend to be worried about a public inquiry, it tends to pay a whole bunch of lawyers and it gets drawn out over years. We need to address the issues now while there's still passion and interest in it.

The original Transit City plans called for 120km of LRT lines, and your transit plan involves only 58km of new subway lines. Won't this mean denying many communities access to needed transit?

My plan is only an initial phase of subway building...The people that need transit most--I'm talking about Rexdale and Scarborough--a lot of them don't really care about Transit City, which is surprising to me.

I want to build transit out there. But transit is about getting from point A to B quickly...and surface transit [is slower than subways].

So yeah, my vision right now is only the 58km, which we're in desperate need of, but it doesn't stop there. The reason I'd put a rush hour toll on the Gardiner and DVP with a sunset clause is so that we don't stop...The clause means that they can only use the toll money to expand subways, and it has to come down if they stop building subways.

When I'm out of politics, when I serve my one to two terms, that subway building needs to go on...

Surface transit is cheaper now, but if you look over a hundred years and cost it out, it's much more expensive than building subways. So it depends on the timeline. If you're doing short-term thinking then you'll get a short-term solution, and I don't believe in short-term solutions...

Why do you think the province delayed the funding for Transit City?

There's an election coming up, and I think the province heard what I heard: the frustration of Torontonians over the whole streetcar issue. People are frustrated by the fact that they're getting second best.

I think province just said: "This is a hot potato...let's get out of that mess." I think if we go back with a better plan with subways I think the province will come back to the table.

Finally, which former mayor do you think has accomplished the most for this city?

I think in terms of bringing fresh ideas to the city it would be David Crombie. He was able to bring the youth into city hall--and that's something I want to do.

Lead and second photo by the author, third photo by Trevor Haldenby



hendrix / July 21, 2010 at 09:56 am
she's kinda cute...
Jimmy / July 21, 2010 at 10:56 am
She kinda looks like a female Mr. Burns in that first pic.


But yeah, surprised she's running third, after Abbot and Costello - er, Smitherman and Ford.
Jimmy / July 21, 2010 at 10:57 am
Anybody else reminded of Mr. Burns in that first pic?

Surprised she's running in third place besides those boobs Abbott and Costello - er, Smitherman and Ford.
Victoria / July 21, 2010 at 11:00 am
Solid fluff piece. Do journalists no longer believe in asking a tough question or two? At the very least Ms. Thomson should have spoken to departure of her campaign manager. Not to mention, explaining more thoroughly why she lied about her Hamilton campaign.
Jimmy / July 21, 2010 at 11:07 am
Sorry about the double post.
shannon / July 21, 2010 at 11:28 am
i met thomson after the pride parade, nice lady. But i don't know if she is tough enough to be a mayor of toronto though.
markus / July 21, 2010 at 11:30 am
millionaires should not be politicians, let alone run for mayor.
Concerned Citizen / July 21, 2010 at 11:47 am
Nice to see she is now back-peddling on her whole "rags-to-riches" story after I recently outed her. I have been confronting Ms. Thomson on the exaggerations and fabrications of her "success" and history. Has anyone noticed she has amended her bio page 3 times now? First it was about her losing Hamilton run by "only 200 seats". Then she amended the "left home, living on streets story" to left home for a few months". She also amended, somewhat, her "gas station empire" story, although it is still a vast misrepresentation of the truth. Check out Emma Reilly's recent blog post that includes an article written by Andrew Dreschel in 1997 while she ran for Hamilton Council. This was written in her supposed "prime" and it is a far cry from what she claims to have accomplished on her website, in articles, in interviews and on her videos! Someone needs to expose Ms. Thomson for what she is...a salesperson backed by her husband's family fortune. She claims in this article that she needed a new challenge because Women's Post is so successful. WP has not made a dime. MS. Thomson has not even been able to receive a pay cheque in NINE years. The only reason the WP is still up and running is because Ms. Thomson has been living off her husband's fortune. The real motivating factors are hubris and the fact that she is not receiving enough attention from her relatively unsuccessful magazine. Yes, she would be a FINE mayor.
Marc / July 21, 2010 at 12:07 pm
This woman has great ideas. Not just great ideas but there is something sincere behind the whole campaign and intention in aiming to become mayor. Sure, a few of the candidates share some of the good ideas (ie. subways lines instead of transit city/overground transit), but Thomson continues to have her own ideas and direction such as her recent plan for a building/architecture system in Toronto. This must be heard and taken into account by the public.

Toronto seriously needs to not just build and build but rather have care and heart towards the architecture and styles of the buildings. Too much glass-and-sticks kind of buildings have been going up, but at the expense of Toronto's promise. Beautiful architecture is a huge investment because it not only looks better but it helps the look of the city rather than breaking it. Toronto needs to have elegant buildings and create uniformity and identity. Toronto used to have this, and it's time to have it again.
mystie replying to a comment from Concerned Citizen / July 21, 2010 at 12:17 pm
I used to be involved in planning and buying the media business for major clients for many years. I always wondered how the Women's Post survived- now I know. No major advertiser would pay a dime for it, it was never on any media plans and no one ever bought it. You can hardly be a success without major advertising support. A success? what a joke! No one reads the Women's Post!
session replying to a comment from Concerned Citizen / July 21, 2010 at 12:30 pm
You're right one the money. Most of WPs advertising was either chump change or in exchange of services. WP never made money. EVER.

She is a obviously a compulsive liar. The difference between lying to her potential advertisers or employees and lying to the media is that you get exposed. Does she really think she can just keep embellishing her "accomplishments" and changing her bio on the go when running for major?

This is the same woman that once said she took the subway once in her lifetime, and never took it back because it smelled.
Car Owner and Subway User / July 21, 2010 at 12:33 pm
I'll just say BOOOOOOOOOOOO to the thought of paying a toll to use the Gardiner.
Nat / July 21, 2010 at 03:34 pm
"I've really tried to own the conversation, and I think we have."

Difference between a man taking credit and woman taking credit:
-man wants all the credit
-woman shares the credit with her team
steve / July 21, 2010 at 04:03 pm
yech - is *anyone* planning on voting in this election? I can't see voter turn out being any higher than 20% - all Ford diehards. There should be a quorum requirement. If not met, Miller should be forced back into the mayor position, so no one is happy.
Victoria replying to a comment from Concerned Citizen / July 21, 2010 at 04:14 pm
If what you say is true, then I am shocked the mainstream press have not exposed Ms. Thomson for her deceptions. Perhaps they don't take her seriously enough to give her that attention, but somehow the truth has to come out.

Target Lady replying to a comment from Victoria / July 21, 2010 at 04:41 pm
Concerned citizen, you're absolutely right. I worked for the Women's Post about five years ago and it was completely funded by Greg Thomson's independent wealth. Not only that, Sarah was completely incapable of managing a staff of six people. She was manipulative and deceptive, at times hysterical, completely unprofessional, and utterly demoralizing. It was the most toxic work environment and pathetic leadership I have ever experienced.

The turnover rate of staff in that place was INSANELY high; at one point half the staff quit within the span of a few weeks. Several of us opted to file complaints against Sarah to Ontario's labour board due.

This woman is THE FARTHEST thing from mayor material I can possibly imagine. Toronto is a tough, angry, vibrant city and it deserves better than Sarah Palin Lite at its helm.
Randee / July 21, 2010 at 07:33 pm
Interesting "Dr. Evil" pose there, lady -- NOT!

Poor little Sarah Whatmough (yes, I'd change my name to Thomson, too, if I had a surname that sounded like a species of lake trout!). She still has a hard time with numbers.

Once source says 100,000 female readers read that freebie paper of hers (surrreeee!), while her own bio says 300,000 (are you kidding me??) That’s more people than readers of The Toronto Star!

And let's not forget Thomson’s infamous "I came within 200 votes of winning" statement (which she took off her website) regarding her failed attempt to win a seat on Hamilton City Council, where she came in forth... out of four. The reality? She was 1,064 votes away from winning, NOT 200.

Misunderstandings, or lies? Is the circulation of her rag actually audited? 100,000 is a far cry from 300,000 !

At first, I tolerated Thomson -- no longer. I was terribly disappointed watching this woman during last night's televised debate. Thomson made tons of PR mistakes (moving around like she had ants in her pants, eyelids flickering, nervous twitches, etc.) The worst part was a combination of her arms flailing like she was drowning, and constantly attacking Rob Ford -- I know not everyone is a Ford supporter, but what about Pantalone, Rossi, or Smitherman? Then she tells Ford he "should buy another suit" because he is too cheap? Umm, dearie, you've just PROVED Ford's point on fiscal responsibility!

The little respect I had fo Sarah Thomson prior to tonight's debate has evaporated faster than a puddle on Yonge Street in summertime.

Time to drop out, lady, before you make an even bigger fool of yourself, and blow what's left of your husband's savings.
Rob / July 21, 2010 at 07:56 pm
OK, I'm sure BlogTO is a good place for a young aspiring journalist to start out, HOWEVER, don't believe everything you're told!

1. "At 18, she already managed and owned a company leasing service stations throughout Ontario, and by the time she turned 30, her business was a multi-million dollar operation."
-She accomoplished this at 18? How? Wasn't she still in high school? Whose money did she use? What was the name of the company, and her alleged position? If I had a "multi-million dollar business at age 30," believe me, I'd tell you the name and street address!

2. "At 28, she had her first taste of politics when she ran and lost in a Hamilton city council race."
-You should have Googled and done newspaper searched on her 1997 loss, when she came in fourth... of four candidates. She also lied about how many votes she lost by -- she said 200, when actually it was over 1,000.

3. "Recently, in 2002, she established the Women's Post, a magazine geared towards businesswomen, which she manages to this day."
-What does "manage" mean? Is she involved in the day-to-day operations? How is the magazine funded? What is the AUDITED circulation?

See what I mean?
EX PAT / July 22, 2010 at 08:29 am
Toronto, I do not envy you in this election if these are your choices.
The Shakes / July 22, 2010 at 09:49 am
All the negative comments above sound like propaganda from the opposing campaigns. In fact they sound rather naive and juvenile. As a voter in this city, i frankly don't give a rats ass about how many people read her newspaper, whether her newspaper makes any money, whether she slept on the streets, whether she has an unfortunate maiden name or whether her husband is rich or not. As far as i can see she is the only candidate that has ideas, a platform and an action plan. The other candidates have none of these things. And if you are suggesting that the other candidates don't have more than their fair share of dirt that can be dug up on them, then you actually are as naive as you sound.
Felix Paul / July 22, 2010 at 10:23 am
I worked for Sarah Thomson (Whatmough) as her book keeper years ago and she made enough money back then not to ever have to work again. She flipped gas stations and turned so much profit it was almost ludicrous. The companies didn't know then how much could be made from selling cigarettes and chips. So I know her wealth is self made, but I haven't seen her in years so I can't judge what she is like now. I remember her as a very calm and considerate woman. She helped me out of a bad spot and I will never forget that.
These posts seem to be the same people attacking her on every site -- are you attackers from the Ford team or the Smitherman team?
John Smith / July 22, 2010 at 10:27 am
That's an awesome attitude, Shakes. Who cares if she's a liar, as long as she does something?
The cops and the McGuinty government had a great plan for the G20 too. You probably think that went just swimmingly, don't you?
joe blow replying to a comment from markus / July 22, 2010 at 11:04 am
please - Michael Bloomberg? They do it all the time...
Ryan / July 22, 2010 at 11:24 am
If Thomson's lying about her accomplishments, that should be exposed. But the people (person, perhaps?) in this thread, who are anonymous and citing mostly personal anecdotes, just look like someone carrying a grudge; it's trolling at best, possibly verging on malicious libel.
Gustavo replying to a comment from The Shakes / July 22, 2010 at 11:24 am
@The Shakes,

Why does it matter about Thomson's claims of "how many people read her newspaper, whether her newspaper makes any money, whether she slept on the streets, whether she has an unfortunate maiden name or whether her husband is rich or not." Are you for real?

Does the word CREDIBILITY mean anything to you?

She is just a spoiled little rich chick, that is all. Councillors like Ford and Mammoliti will eat her alive.

Liars are not fit to be mayor, so give you head a shake!
The Shakes / July 22, 2010 at 09:45 pm
@ Gustavo

Holy i am laughing my ass off if you seriously think the other candidates are more credible and honest, ESPECIALLY the ones who have made a career of politics.

You go right ahead and put your trust in "Let's go visit the strip joints, and call it 'research' Mammoliti, or "seriously, i'm not a rage-a-holic bigot" Ford. Sure they're really credible.

Personally, I'll take my chances with "Maybe my newspaper circulation number is inflated" Thomson.

I'm afraid it is you who needs to give his head a shake.
The Shakes / July 22, 2010 at 01:53 pm
@ John Smith

It's a little something called seeing the big picture. You really ought to try it some time.

Firstly, i don't see actual evidence of her lying (a bunch of Ford campaigners anonymously posting on a board, is not evidence of her lying).

Secondly, yes i'd much prefer somebody who stands for something positive and wants to make a difference (even if anonymous people are accusing her of lying about completely irrelevant shit), over the other candidates who are proven liars about actual important shit (E-health spending, going to strip joints on taxpayers the dime, being a drunken bigot) and stand for nothing and just want to collect a salary, while our city degrades.

Yes my attitude may suck, but your powers of observation clearly suck far worse.
Olaf replying to a comment from The Shakes / July 22, 2010 at 03:48 pm

Your word of the day: Duhhhhh!

Don't question anything, don't ask for her references, don't ask for the names of the companies she allegedly worked for, don't question her math skills (or lack thereof) when she lied about how many votes she lost by in Hamilton, don't question her BS story about "living on the strees" (which she has altered at least half a dozen times), and don;t ask questions about the rag she publishes that has NEVE turned a profit, and is funded by her weenie of a husband.

The Shakes / July 22, 2010 at 04:47 pm
@Olaf (or should i say Rob Ford)

You need to take something for that rage dude! First of all quit pretending to be me and man-up enough to put your own name on your little anti-semitic rant. Secondly, the reason i'm not questioning, is because you've provided zero evidence for all these accusations you're throwing around and zero substance. All you have is vitriole - kind of like the Rob Ford campaign.
Tomasz / July 22, 2010 at 05:27 pm
As the author of this post, I'm really surprised that blogTO readers are so strongly anti-Thomson. I expected this more for Rob Ford and George Smitherman.

I'm not a supporter of any one candidate, and I actually think none of them have proven themselves worthy yet.

But considering the records of the others, does everyone here really think hers is the worst?

Concerned Citizen / July 22, 2010 at 05:51 pm
The concerning facts when it comes to Thomson are:

1. She has absolutely no political experience. She has not even been an active community member. She did run for Hamilton Council when she ran into red tape getting a rezoning passed. Since her landslide loss, she has had little to no political involvement, or interest.

2. She claims to now be running for mayor because The Women's Post is such a success. She is running on hubris and ego alone. She knows all the right catch phrases and sales pitches to promote an ideal, but it is a farce.

3. She claims that it is her 24-year successful business career that leaves her qualified to be Mayor. She does not have a 24-year successful career. The last success she had was over 18 years ago and even that success has been GREATLY exaggerated and fabricated. Again I will refer people to Emma Reilly's recent blog post that includes an 1997 article on Ms. Thomson by Andrew Dreschel. In this article Ms. Thomson is 29 and running for Hamilton Council. At that time she only managed 2 stations. She states in her prime she managed 5. She also states she was top dealer in ONTARIO for 2 years. Her LinkedIn page she states top dealer in 1992, 1993, 1994, 1997, etc. Her bio and multiple interviews state she was top dealer in Canada with stations all over Ontario, not the 5 she managed all in and around Hamilton. She claims to have later formed a company mandated to go in an rescue stations in crisis. This is an outright lie. Sunoco confirmed that Whatmough Management was simply the company under which she leased her stations.

4. She claims to "know what it is like to be homeless" yet has never been homeless and was raised in a middle-class family.

5. Ms. Thomson may have made good money off the stations, but she also had "bad habits" that quickly ate up her savings. She has not made any real money since 1998 and has had several failed business ventures since that time. You do the math!

6. Ms. Thomson claims to be an visionary, a leader, a consensus- builder. None of these are true. The only strong skill Ms. Thomson does possess is that of a salesperson. This will not stand her well as Mayor. She has more staff turnover than average, many disgruntled employees, Labour Board complaints and has an incredibly difficult history getting along with women in business situations. She lost her female campaign manager, several female editors and now has an almost entirely male campaign team and a male editor on staff. This is a women who has inspired SO MANY women?

The bottomline, is anyone can come up with the ideas Ms. Thomson is putting forward is we live in Utopia, but she has neither the political experience, the business history, nor the savy to pull any of them off. Unlike The Women's Post, I don't believe her husband, no matter what his wealth, will be able to fund her subway and architectural beautification plans! Add on top of her lack of any relevant experience, her ability to lie and deceive, yes, you are correct, "What a candidate!"

I have never indicated that any candidate is "skeleton" free, but Ms. Thomson's complete lack of concern for the truth coupled with her cavalier attitude when caught out on her lies makes her a very scary option in my books.

Further to that, I do not work for any other candidate, nor would I. I began researching Ms. Thomson's background, because as a women, I was somewhat hopeful upon hearing of her run for Mayor. Now I am left feeling embarrassed every time she speaks. Her passive aggressive attempts to one up the men in the CP24 debates with the "settle down gentlemen" and "Joey, Joey, settle down" is painful to watch, to say the least.

I find it absolutely ludicrous that she is now throwing around catch phrases/words like "credibility", "openess", etc. when she is a deceitful liar and can't even be open about the happenings in her own campaign.

My two cents.

Concerned Citizen replying to a comment from The Shakes / July 22, 2010 at 06:14 pm
Shakes, it is easy to continually repeat, "You have no proof, you have no proof!", however, I have provided you with several pieces of evidence. Ms. Thomson has amended her bio at least three times, since I began challenging her on her bio. This is addition to the amendment she made regarding losing the Hamilton city council seat by only 200 votes.

I also provided you with an article from 1997, clearly outlining Ms. Thomson's "successes" at the actual time when they were occurring, and they do not in any way line up with the bio she is providing today. This coupled with the fact that if she is lying today, she was probably lying then too, so even the facts in the 1997 article may well be exaggerated.

So, instead of acting like a petulant child, perhaps a little investigating on your own or simply looking into the evidence I have handed you would be more productive?

The Shakes is a Tool / July 22, 2010 at 10:21 pm
Weren't you one of thr assholes selling fire to police cars three weeks ago?

Ah, to be young, idealistic, and dumb as a fuckign stump!

Ford will will, and and THANK GOD FOR THAT! We don't need McSquinty's corrupt little biumboy, Sphincterman, nor do I want a cross-eyed lying little princess!

Remember, "With the garlic aroma, that could level Tacoma."
The Shakes / July 23, 2010 at 09:09 am
@ The Shakes is a Tool
What a brilliant rebuttal, so full of convincing insight, and thoughtful points - NOT! Your mom must be very proud of you. In fact why don't you go upstairs and ask her, since you probably still live in her basement. I think you have managed to crysatllize the point that Rob Ford's campaign appeals to psychotic bigots. You write like an insecure racist, whose xenophobia stems from the fact that he's hung like a hamster.

@ Concerned Citizen
OK, so please tell us, which of the other candidates do you feel is so virtuous and complete contradictory free that they should be our next mayor? And please tell us exaclty what that person is going to do to make our city better

...............<crickets chirp>....................<tumble weed rolls by>.....................<sun sets into the horizon>.............

Thought so!
The Shakes Blows Dead Toads / July 23, 2010 at 04:27 pm
"Thought so!"

Aha, what a zinger!

I'm not pro-Ford or pro-Rossi. I am pro-intelligence.

Something you obviously are not.

Think for yourself, Shakes.
EnviroTO / July 23, 2010 at 07:38 pm
For a small magazine there sure seem to be a lot of people posting who have knowledge about how much money the magazine makes, and some even claiming to have worked there. Their financial information isn't public so how likely is it that of 36 people commenting (oops less because some people with nothing better to do keep posting on the same topic) there are multiple industry people and people who know financial details of the company? I would guess the odds of the commentators on this blog actually knowing the details they pretend to know would be very low. If you don't support Sarah Thompson then say what policy you don't agree with and move on. Pretending to be an expert on her, and pretending to have been Sarah Thompson's shadow for the last 20 years is disingenuous.
Rob S. replying to a comment from EnviroTO / July 23, 2010 at 08:20 pm

You bring up some interesting points. I have never heard much good about Thomson's magazine, or really anything about it, for that matter. I don't read it, female friends never look at it, and every time I pass the box on Richmond Street, I think "Hmph?" and move on. That said, I have worked for some bad bosses in the publishing world, and suspect there is a high turnover at the magazine. Some comments, like the lawsuit with the Ontario Labour Board, are easy enough to verify.

I still don't think she has any business whatsoever running for mayor. Despite opinions of all the other candidates (Rossi to a lesser degree), they ALL have political experience.
Todd / July 26, 2010 at 07:23 pm
Lots of allegations of people jumping ship from Thomson's businesses, but as far as this campaign is concerned she did lose one of her senior advisors, prominent lawyer Sam Goldstein. I also read on Twitter that her Social media manager left her campaign. And recently her campaign manager also left. So not exactly damning but hardly inspiring either.
Randy / July 26, 2010 at 08:44 pm

I hadn't heard about Thomson losing her social media manager, thanks for the update, nor about her senior advisor (I did hear about her campaign manager, though).

It makes one wonder a) why these people left (same thing with Smitherman's first campaign manager), and b) why the lazy-arsed media in Toronto aren't hounding them down for interviews?
Vanessa Brustolin / July 26, 2010 at 10:48 pm
I really don't understand why people have an issue with a "millionaire" or business woman running for mayor. It takes far more expertise to be a successful CEO than it does to sit on City Council. Working CEOs need to know how to actually balance the budget and trim the fat - something the lazy morons at City Hall have yet to figure out.

So yes, she might be a millionaire - so what? She also knows what it was to be poor and to have slept in a park, Something the other two candidates know nothing about. Her platforms are doable, not pie in the sky, again something her experience as a CEO has given her - the knowledge of how to build a plan and to make it work. She also has a very comprehensive environmental plan, as well as a plan to have more public input on the design structure of new buildings, hopefully saving us from becoming a very ugly city in no time at all. The fact that she's a self-made millionaire gives me confidence that she would know more about balancing the budget than that racist, wife beating, rich kid Ford.
Randy replying to a comment from Vanessa Brustolin / July 27, 2010 at 11:19 am
Hi Vanessa,

I don't think it's Thomson's wealth that people have an issue with -- rival candidate Rob Ford and his family have done very well in the printing industry, for example -- but the truth behind her statements.

Over the past few months, Thomson has flip-flopped on many of her stories, from "living on the streets" to admitting she left home for all of a week because she had daddy/control issues, to how much she lost her bid for election in Hamilton (she said 200 votes, when in reality it was well over 1,000). There are also staggering, wildly different numbers about the circulation of her free newspaper (she says 100,000, which is patently absurd! She's talking Star, Sun, and Now territory). There are also questions about why two kep people, including her campaign manager, ditched her, one of them for Rocco Rossi!

No one is saying she's a bad person, but unless she tries to explain these huge gaps in her stories, her credibility is an issue... and Torontonians have had seven years of a liar for a mayor to go through all that again.
Concerned Citizen replying to a comment from Vanessa Brustolin / July 27, 2010 at 12:14 pm
I think that people may be missing the point. Ms. Thomson is by NO means wealthy. She did make quite a bit of money over 18 years ago, but has since spent, lost, etc. her money. She had a few "bad habits" years back, started several failed businesses, etc.

She has not had a successful business in over 18 years. The only reason the Women's Post is still up and running is because she has lived off her husband's wealth, that she has all but exhausted. She has never been able to even take a pay cheque from her company. The true reason Ms. Thomson has decided to run for mayor is ego and the fact that she has been unable to build a successful magazine. Now she will have an excuse when the Women's Post closes its doors or maybe she is hoping that her run for Mayor will bring her the increased exposure she needs to keep the business afloat for a little longer?

I think people are being fooled by her title. Anyone can title themselves a CEO of a company they start up. Anyone can title themselves as a "visionary". The only reason the media has yet to jump on her background and its major discrepancies is because she is not considered a threat at this point. I on the other hand disagree with the media's stance on this. I feel that the public should know about Ms. Thomson's exaggerations and deceptions RIGHT NOW. Why waste the public's time when the facts are out there that completely discredit her. Ms. Thomson still stand by the fact that she has no political experience, but has 24 years of successful business experience? If this is not true, then what experience or skill qualifies her for the position of Mayor? Anyone can come up with Utopian ideas, but if they have neither the political nor business successes to drive these ideas, what good are they?

The public deserves to know the truth.


Vanessa Brustolin / July 27, 2010 at 09:54 pm
Please enlighten me then. What are these "bad habits" of which you speak? How do you know the details of her life so intimately? How do you know she lost so much money? What are your sources, and please provide links.

What I also know is this:

As Minister of Health, Smitherman was criticized for ignoring calls for an independent investigation into deaths due to C. difficile in hospitals. Smitherman has also been criticized for his failure to implement electronic health records at eHealth Ontario.

In 2008, Ford faced assault charges stemming from allegations made by his wife. In March 2007, Ford opposed providing city funds to build bicycle lanes on roads. Ford called cyclists "a pain in the ass" for motorists. In 2002, Ford strongly objected to the possibility that a homeless shelter would open in his suburban Etobicoke ward. Later in the same year he was quoted while berating an anti-poverty activist, "Do you have a job, sir? I'll give you a newspaper to find a job, like everyone else has to do between 9 and 5. In 2005, Ford told a homeless protestor, "I'm working. Why don't you get a job?" Ford stated that "(AIDS) is very preventable," and that "if you are not doing needles and you are not gay, you wouldn't get AIDS probably, that's bottom line." With respect to the increasing rates of women contracting the disease, Ford said, "How are women getting it? Maybe they are sleeping with bisexual men." In 2006, allegations arose of loud, unsociable conduct by Ford at a Toronto Maple Leafs game. Two audience members alleged that Ford instigated a shouting match. Security at the Air Canada Centre later ejected Ford from the venue. Initially, Ford denied involvement, claiming mistaken identity. The following day, Ford confirmed the allegations and announced his apology to the couple. Controversy erupted when several councillors reportedly heard Ford call Mammoliti "Gino boy" in the debate over the 2002 budget. Mammoliti filed a complaint for the ethnic slur. Mammoliti's son Michael filed his papers to run against Ford in the 2003 municipal election but withdrew at the last moment. In March 2003, in a debate over the budget of the Toronto Zoo, Ford called Mammoliti (who chairs the zoo board) a "snake" and a "weasel" in council. I'm telling you, Oriental people, they're slowly taking over, because there's no excuses for them. They're hard, hard workers." He drew criticism for these remarks from Mayor David Miller, budget chief Shelley Carroll, and other councillors.

In the debates Thomson said she supports the police services board’s plan for a review of the response, noting that “only a few (protesters) really did some damage. “It’s very hard to control that, but as well we’ve got to remember the police made some mistakes, too, and they should be held accountable so they can learn from their mistakes,” she said, drawing an immediate rebuke from Ford. “Either you support the police or you don’t support the police here,” the Etobicoke councillor said. “This is black or white. I support the police,” he said, accusing Thomson of “sticking up for the protesters.
Olaf replying to a comment from Vanessa Brustolin / July 29, 2010 at 12:26 pm
Rob Ford rules! Two people will be voting for Sarah Thomson on election day: her, and her husband.
Vanessa Brustolin replying to a comment from Olaf / July 29, 2010 at 02:35 pm
Indeed, Olaf, I suppose if you're a wife-beating bigot too he would be your hero.
Olaf / July 29, 2010 at 11:07 pm
Careful Vanessa... you're treding libel waters, and sinking fast...

NO CHARGES were pressed against Ford. Better to check your sources next time. For the record, Ford's wife attacked him, but of course Liberal sycophants like the Star and the Globe fail to mention this fact, don't they?

And I supposed you're referring to the non-issue comment, "Asians work harder than dogs," right? I asked my neighbours about this at the time (most of my street is comprised of Chinese and Vietnamese immigrants), and they all laughted -- one went so far as to say, "Yes, we do! It's a compliment."

I can't wait for Ford to become Mayor of Toronto, and slash and burn the socialist forces like Giambrone, Bussin, and Pantalone!
Flaggman / July 30, 2010 at 12:33 am
I can guarantee, the Women's Post has been an "investment" (read: money pit) since its launch. Anyone experienced in publishing could open it up and see there's barely any ad revenue there. It's a 1980s business model trying to exist in a 2010 environment. No chance.
The Shakes replying to a comment from Olaf / July 30, 2010 at 07:42 am
When someone in Ford's position makes public derogatory comments about Asians and Homosexuals, you can bet their true feelings on the subject are far deeper than what they are actually expressing. To say Ford's comments on Asians is a non-issue, based on a couple of your neighbours' reaction, is just plain stupid.

Ford is a douche-tard, racist, time bomb. His entire career is based solely on criticizing what others have done in the past. He is incapable of thinking about the future. He is not forward thinking, he has no plan, no platform and no vision for the future. He is not a leader, just a critic and magnet for other reactionary angry people.
Denise replying to a comment from The Shakes / July 30, 2010 at 10:18 am
I agree about Ford. He is an angry time bomb. And I harbour no love for Smitherman.

Do I think Thomson can do the job? I am not convinced. I am just suggesting that perhaps she isn't the worse candidate around with a fair chance of winning the election.

Marc / July 30, 2010 at 11:33 am
Oh please. Ford has honesty and frankness, that's something no one in politics has these days. As for his remarks about Asians and homosexuals, well he could shut up for all I care, but what is important and crucial for Toronto right now, is a mayor who will work, put his/her foot down and do the job.

In fact, too many of the politicians are over-politically correct, too nice, too weak and catering, and look what we have - spineless politicians (and mayor) who may be so polite and PC but weak and NOT DOING THE JOB. And the point in all of this is a FRESH START for Toronto. Forget those who have been around the block and have affiliations with the long-standing mess and cycle right now in city hall. Ford or Thomson is the way to go, Toronto has nothing to lose. You might as well go for the fresh and new direction.
Concerned Citizen / August 1, 2010 at 01:58 pm
I think the real travesty here is the choice of candidates. When I address Thomson's short comings, I am faced with responses about the other candidates' short comings. Isn't this a sad sign of the times? Isn't this also reminiscent of "I know you are, but what am I?"

So are we faced to vote for the "best of the worst"? Are the people of TO content with this? I fail to see how a candidate with no political experience, nor relevant business experience, could be a viable candidate? I am by no means saying the other candidates are better, but perhaps better qualified. I also think it is easy to sit back and call a politician a liar, when we have no clue what may have stood in their way. My honest belief is that you can not vote based on platform, because how often are they able to manifest these ideals once actually in office? Not very. I believe in voting for someone who has the experience and qualifications to do the job. Ms. Thomson does not possess any of these qualities. She is a salesperson...bottomline.

She speaks of inspiring women, her collaborative, team-building and consensus-building skills and yet where do we sees these skills in action. Her campaign team is almost entirely males, key positions in particular. Her associate editor is now a male, after MANY failed business relationships with female editors. She has lost several key campaign players. She has been through an phenominal number of employees, (especially for a "leader" who claims to possess such strong leadership and motivational skills) and the list goes on and on.

Her supposed success with Women's Post includes a publication that decreased production from twice a month to 6 editions a year! This is success? She claims a readership of that equivalent to the Star or Sun, yet has less than 1,000 paid subscribers?????? She claims readership of 3000,000 to 350,000, yet last audit confirms a run of 61,000??? She claims to be a "social entrepreneur", yet I don't know if she ever bothered to look up the definition, as she could not be further from a social entrepreneur. I think she might also do well to look up the term "visionary" (prone to fanciful and dreamy thinking). This she may be, but how does this fit with a city facing the financial TO is in?

Granted, Thomson may be coming forward with great ideas, however, they are not unique or ideas that haven't been thought of before. However, they are, for the most part, unrealistic for a city in our financial state. How are we to believe her research numbers, her ability to deliver, etc. when she has proven herself a liar many times over, about things so basic as her skillset?

Concerned Citizen

Keen replying to a comment from Target Lady / August 12, 2010 at 01:42 pm
Odd, your comments are so bitter.

Yet I have complete access to all OLRB court, tribunal & board decisions, past present and pending.

No such filing or complaint has ever been lodged.

I think you are a liar, a sock puppet from another campaign.

Unless you can produce? You see, you made a claim regarding publicly available documentation and my own access exceeds even these.

You are some sort of fake. Much moreso than those you would malign with direct lies. Exaggeration is natural in these circumstances. If the race were geared to rate candidates by how much they exaggerated about their achievements then Rob Ford would be the definitive winner.

But he bolsters his exaggerations with outright lies and the uncanny need to assail from his elected office anyone who is different from himself.

Unless you too are an extremely unhealthy man with habits certain to kill him and also a racists, sexist homophobe that has permanent foot in mouth disease then you should consider voting strategically for Thomson.

A vote for Ford does a disservice to women everywhere, and you claim to be a woman.
Olaf / August 13, 2010 at 01:42 pm
I refuse to vote for this cross-eyed broad.
Doggiez / August 16, 2010 at 11:46 am
I write a lot of comments at the Globe and Mail. Oh sure, you might know me as a less than gentle supporter of Rob Ford, but Sarah strikes me as a new favourite! She has gentle doe like eyes. I think she speaks from her heart, and that is so rare in political candidates. She has great ideas, that make me want to hug kittens. I like that she is a woman, even though I prefer a manly man, bursting with chest hair candidate. What I'm saying is that she is easy on my one and last remaining eyeball (damn you cactus planting job!!!). Please if you agree with me, find me at the Globe and Mail and let's see about sharing our political views like a fine glass of malt liquor.
Doggiez / August 17, 2010 at 11:22 pm
...I forgot to mention: she also swallows. Bonus!
Jim / September 21, 2010 at 07:50 pm
I wonder if she's good in bed?
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