Conservative hopes at breaking their long shutout in Toronto were dashed yesterday, as Dr Eric Hoskins claimed victory in the St Paul's by-election.
Even as his party is embroiled in numerous scandals and has saddled itself with an increasingly-unpopular Harmonized Sales Tax, Dr Hoskins applied a ring of truth to some recent commentary by Chris Selley:
"Last month, the Toronto Star described Ms. Levy as a 'dream candidate.' On Saturday, Globe and Mail reporter Joe Friesen described her as 'everything the provincial Conservatives could dream of' — not 'frumpy and rural,' but rather 'gay, Jewish [and] fiercely conservative.' Sorry — a dream candidate who’s fiercely conservative? In St Paul’s? I haven’t been this baffled since Rachel Marsden was approached to run federally in Toronto-Danforth in 2006. (The Conservatives eventually came to their senses and sent someone else to be slaughtered by Jack Layton.)Having friends like Raine Maida certainly couldn't hurt anyone's chances.
Friesen’s description of Ms Levy standing on a streetcorner in Forest Hill Village complaining about the excesses of the 'nanny state' illustrates the problem beautifully. I grew up with the people of St Paul’s. This is not libertarian country. This is the very spiritual home of Ontario’s nanny state. Helmets, knee pads, mouth guards, booster seats, organic milk and EpiPens for everyone.
So, she’s gay. That’s terrific. What has it got to do with St. Paul’s? And she’s Jewish. Fantastic. The last Tory candidate’s name was Goldstein. Didn’t help her much. If we want to talk about 'dream candidates,' let’s talk about the Liberals’ Dr. Eric Hoskins, president of War Child Canada (pictured campaigning above with singer Raine Maida). While Ms. Levy was harping away endlessly at Mr Miller (sorry, 'His Blondeness'), Dr Hoskins was saving babies in Sub-Saharan Africa. If this was a general election, people would be laughing at Ms. Levy’s chances."
Sue-Ann Levy will almost certainly now return to her regular job at the Toronto Sun, raging against the largesse of David Miller.
But if Dalton McGuinty's Liberal government continues on as it has, observers of Ontario politics can almost certainly look forward to a mounting mass of scandal. Sue-Ann Levy will hopefully keep her dance card open for 2011 -- or whenever McGuinty calls a general election -- for a rematch with Dr Hoskins, or with any other Liberal.