On Monday evening, in the auditorium of Central Commerce Collegiate, I was part of an all-candidates meeting among candidates for Trustee for the Toronto District School Board in the Trinity-Spadina ward.
Due to controversy surrounding one Trustee candidate’s alleged support for terrorism, the local downtown NDP establishment, which is fully behind that candidate, Ausma Malik, stacked the meeting as best it could with its supporters.
School Trustee debates are never big attention-getters anyway, and the sparse attendance at the meeting, which attracted no more than 35 people, is an indication of the extent of the downtown collapse of the NDP. Trinity-Spadina is the same area that was held by Olivia Chow as a federal MP before she resigned to attempt to capture Toronto’s mayoralty. Chow’s disastrous performance in the mayoral race, in which even in her old ward she is only polling at about 25% (compared with 20% city-wide), has dragged her whole party down with her.
So the NDP is in panic mode and Malik’s connection to Chow, along with her connections to high-profile local Council candidates Mike Layton and Joe Cressy, all of whom publicly endorsed each other and are running as a ticket, is something they feel the fierce need to defend.