John Tory bars woman because of her male partner


And Toronto mayoralty candidate again attempts to bully news media

TORONTO – Toronto mayoral candidate John Tory has decreed that Lisa Kirbie will not be permitted to provide political commentary for CityNews at his Election Night gathering – because of who Kirbie’s partner is.

Kirbie is the Senior Vice President of the Daisy Consulting Group, and a regular political commentator on CTV and Sun News Network.  CityNews asked Kirbie to provide commentary during the station’s election night coverage at the Liberty Grand, John Tory headquarters.

Despite the fact that Kirbie’s appearance was confirmed as recently as late Friday afternoon, this morning CityNews was advised that Kirbie would not be allowed on the premises – because her partner is Warren Kinsella, a Toronto lawyer who has been critical of Tory in the past. CityNews was told they would not be granted accreditation for Kirbie.

“I am my own person, with my own views,” Kirbie said.  “John Tory knows me, and he knows that.  It is frankly pathetic and cowardly that Tory is barring me from being the guest of an established news organization, simply because Warren is my partner.”

She continued:  “It’s also worrying that Tory has again been caught bullying a news organization.  They should determine who they have on-air – not a thin-skinned mayoralty candidate.”

Tory campaign operative Amanda Galbraith allegedly told CityNews that Kirbie was being barred because she is “a material witness” in a lawsuit between Kinsella and Tory’s most senior campaign advisor.

“That’s not just false, it’s a lie,” Kirbie said.  “I am not named in either the Statement of Claim or the Statement of Defence in that case.  And my lawyer this afternoon wrote to the defendant’s lawyer, to alert him to the fact that the Tory campaign is lying about a court process.”

Kirbie concluded: “I thought John Tory had learned his lesson when he was slammed for chauvinism when he said that young women should play golf to get ahead.  Apparently not.  He’s just as sexist, it seems, as the mayor he is seeking to replace.”

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For more information, contact:
David Shiller, LLB

Head to head: Do you need social media to win a political campaign?

In this month’s IABC magazine, Warren and I were asked to argue opposite sides of the issue. He says yes, while I say no (sort of).

Unfortunately, you must be an IABC member to have access to the magazine, but I’ve uploaded our piece to Issuu. Or, if you have younger eyes than mine, you can check out the graphic, below. Enjoy!




Feminism is not “man hating”

This is so important.

Daisy, 50 years later

Earlier this month was the 50th anniversary of the infamous “Daisy” political ad that won incumbent president LBJ re-election. If you didn’t know, our consulting firm is named for it. Here, I discuss the importance of the ad in a column by Ashley Csanady.

Good riddance to former Liberal MP Tom Wappel

The fact that guys like Tom Wappel could not only reside within the Liberal Party of Canada, but get elected to represent Canadians as a Liberal MP has always irritated me. I was happy when he left politics.

To those of you who’re  asking who the Hell is Tom Wappel anyway… . Wappel is an anti-choice, anti-gay, pro-”family values” (whatever that means) bigot who once said that homosexuality is “abnormal.” As an MP, he opposed protecting gays and lesbians from hate crimes legislation; he opposed protecting gays and lesbians from discrimination; and he once voted against recognizing same-sex marriage.

There should be no place for people like this in the Liberal party.

Today, he and his cronies (all male, by the way), wrote an open letter to leader Justin Trudeau imploring him to return “democracy” to the Liberal party and overturn his “discriminatory” policy on women’s reproductive rights. That’s right, Wappel – who’s incidentally not even a Liberal party member anymore – who regularly voted in favour of discriminatory policies is now crying foul.

This letter he and his pals wrote today – and had published on an anti-choice website – does nothing except increase support among Liberals for Trudeau’s decision. Even those of us who didn’t necessarily agree with it.


This happened today on Sun

Every Tuesday I appear on Sun News Network to talk all sorts of politics. Today’s topic was a discussion about pot, a wanna-be Liberal candidate and Justin Trudeau. Watch right to the end – I had no idea what was coming… Also, Kinsella is in big, big trouble.


My email to Shawn Jeffords

“Dear Shawn:

I understand you are claiming you have been trying to reach me.  That is interesting, given that I was at the Sun just this afternoon.

The picture that you consider important enough to write an entire story about is of me, posing with a toy gun.  Your attempt to link it to the Olivia Chow campaign, on which I volunteer, is ridiculous.  It is beneath any serious journalist.  It is absurd. 

I confess I also recently played Battleship with my son.  Perhaps you would like to write a lengthy feature about the relevance of toy ships to municipal politics.  If so, let me know. 

In the meantime, I intend to post this widely, so everyone else gets to see how laughable it is.


Lisa Kirbie”

The New Liberal Party of Canada

And I don’t mean that as a compliment. Yesterday, while appearing on CTV’s True North Politics panel, one of the subjects that we debated was abortion. Specifically, Justin Trudeau’s pro-choice edict to anyone who wishes to run for the party.

Let me start by saying that I  fundamentally believe that liberals (capital L or otherwise) should support a woman’s right to choose. Full stop. I am a pro-choice Catholic who, before converting, asked a priest straight out if he would give me communion knowing my views. It was a lengthy conversation which ended with one word, “yes.”

I am a mother who has had to deal with an unplanned pregnancy. I am vehemently pro-choice and am an outspoken feminist. But that doesn’t make me (or anyone else for that matter) pro-abortion.

Under Trudeau’s new rules, I wouldn’t be allowed to run for the Liberal Party. Why? Because Trudeau said that his MPs “must vote ‘pro-choice’ on any bills before Parliament.” Affirm the status quo on abortion in Canada?  For sure. But what about a vote on late-term, post-viability abortions on demand, when the woman’s life or health is not in jeopardy?  That’s no longer about women’s rights, and I don’t support it. But according to statements Trudeau has made this week, I would have to.

I guess that makes be a bad Liberal.

Turns out it wasn’t Harper who reopened Canada’s abortion debate; it was Justin Trudeau.

Justin Trudeau, choice and open nominations

My view? I don’t think you can be a liberal and be anti-choice – which I’ve written about before. And I don’t think that open nominations are the way to go (for reasons I detail in the same piece I hyperlinked to).

So, I support young Trudeau’s decision to ensure that all candidates who run carrying a Liberal banner must support a woman’s right to choose (which is different from being in favour of abortion, btw). Where he goes wrong is in insisting, despite this and this, that Liberal nominations are still “open.”

They aren’t. And that’s okay, but continuing to insist otherwise is a big, big mistake.

Candidates show they know nothing when attacking Chow on housing

Many people – people who know better – are attacking Olivia Chow today because she’s going to run for mayor, because she’s a formidable presence and because she’s a real threat to their own candidates. One of the smears they like to use is to say that she lived in a housing co-op, which she and her late husband did many, many years ago. But then they tell a bald-faced lie and say that their rent was subsidized. The very people making these attacks wouldn’t deign to come within a large city block of one, so I will explain co-op housing to you, because I have. I lived in a housing co-op while supporting myself and my children, struggling to finish my undergraduate degree.

Housing co-ops are a community, which is why so many people like to live in them. You will find people from a variety of backgrounds with a range of income levels. People who do okay financially and people – like me – who weren’t sure how they were going to pay the hydro bill or buy diapers.

We all paid different rents, and we paid according to income level. I paid just a few hundred bucks a month for rent (back in the Okanagan). Others paid substantially more than that, which is called “market value” rent. It’s what one would pay if they were renting a comparable place elsewhere in the area, that wasn’t a housing co-op. The people who paid the most essentially helped out those of us who couldn’t pay more. And we all contributed to the upkeep and maintenance of the co-op – we took great pride in our vegetable garden, our small orchard and the kids’ playground we raised money for and built ourselves. Even though we all paid different rents, we were all equal members of our co-operative, our community.

Those people who’ve lived in housing co-ops understand what a remarkable place they can be. Those who haven’t, and who are trying to spread misinformation about Olivia Chow and Jack Layton, are trying to exploit the fact that not many people do know how co-ops works. That’s why you’re reading the garbage you are.

Olivia and Jack never received subsidized housing. They always paid their full share. Anything else you read or hear is a complete and total lie.