Voters should really be offered a lot more info about Michael Thompson


The voters in Scarborough Centre out of the blue obtain themselves in an unsightly predicament. The incumbent city councillor, who has been in office environment considering the fact that 2003 and who received very last time with 69 for every cent of the vote, has been charged by the Ontario Provincial Law enforcement in Muskoka with two counts of sexual assault.

Details of the accusations in opposition to him are scarce: a lawyer who was symbolizing him past 7 days, Calvin Barry, claimed Michael Thompson “is asserting his innocence” and “will vigorously protect towards these allegations,” and then instantly stepped apart as his lawyer.

The OPP gave only the barest particulars, indicating that past month it been given a report “alleging sexual assaults had taken place at a non-public home in the District Municipality of Muskoka before this yr,” that their investigation led to the expenses, and that they weren’t stating just about anything else in order to defend the identity of the victims.

A copy of the information and facts filed in Thompson’s arrest suggests two victims are alleged to have been sexually assaulted on successive times, July 3 and 4, in the Muskoka Lakes space, and forbids Thompson from acquiring any make contact with with a few specific females as a condition of his release pending a listening to.

Thompson himself issued no statement for days, then informed the Star’s Ben Spurr on Tuesday he wasn’t commenting on the rates simply because he wishes to allow for the “judicial method and the process” to unfold. His new law firm, Jennifer Brevorka (from the organization of Henein Hutchison) experienced requested him not to speak about it, he claimed. Alternatively, he’s concentrated on “serving his constituents” and is knocking on doors in his re-election effort.

The first hearing in his case won’t be held until eventually early November, following the municipal election.

So what the hell are voters meant to do with that?

Thompson is certainly entitled, legally, to due process. He is presumed innocent beneath the regulation right up until proven responsible, and should really be.

But there’s another procedure underway right here other than the judicial a person. And in the electoral course of action there is no presumption of innocence. In elections, arguments like “He didn’t arrive back for you!” or “He has a top secret agenda!” or “But her e-mails!” are acknowledged to carry the day centered not on the bodyweight of evidence but on how they have an affect on the gut thoughts of voters.

Most of us would not — or should not — want to see a person’s career finished or everyday living ruined because of allegations that haven’t been analyzed or even spelled out. But most of us would also want to work out warning when we’re ready for sufficient data to judge the weight of people allegations. Most of us are not using the services of another person accused of sexual assault to babysit our youngsters, even if they have not been convicted of everything. We’d want a reasonably convincing exoneration right before we’d put them in a placement of have confidence in. You’d believe the similar might be real of electing an official to glimpse after our city.

Mayor John Tory would seem to be getting that technique. He has been one of Thompson’s closest allies at metropolis hall — Tory designed him a ceremonial deputy mayor, defended his major-paying globe-trotting as economic enhancement chair. Straight away soon after studying of the fees, Tory questioned for and been given Thompson’s resignation from the financial improvement and deputy mayor portfolios.

Nevertheless Thompson is not tendering his resignation to voters. He’s not even featuring them his aspect of the tale.

Thompson experienced appeared like an absolute shoo-in for re-election. Probably he nonetheless is. The man who concluded second to him previous time with just seven per cent of the vote, Paul Beatty, is functioning again, but he’s a perennial candidate who doesn’t seriously look to campaign, but whose name appeared 1st alphabetically on the ballot.

The other challengers — who are actively campaigning — are relatively mysterious: Hansie Daniel is a construction marketplace management advisor who wants additional economical housing and streets that are safer for pedestrians and cyclists Kiri Vadivelu is a tenants’ legal rights activist affiliated with ACORN Canada Muhammad Ayub is a real estate businessman who cites his work on faculty father or mother councils as a qualification and lists crime prevention and reduce taxes as platform priorities. A week back, no one particular would have given them any opportunity of profitable. But how can voters who know about the rates against Thompson steer clear of offering these candidates a different look?

Sexual assault is a broad cost that can address a large amount of items, from undesirable groping to rape. We have no data from any individual of what behaviour Thompson stands accused of. All we know is a police force uncovered the data from two girls credible more than enough to advantage laying rates.

Thompson is entitled to his day in court, and maybe when that day will come he will be exonerated, as Barry said would come about. But that day in court will not come right until right after the election in which Thompson asks voters to believe in him all over again. People voters are not able to suspend judgment they require to render just one on election working day. If Thompson is unwilling to step apart from his marketing campaign to return to council, the voters in Scarborough Centre are entitled to a detailed rationalization of Thompson’s facet of the story.

Whether it is fair or not, My Legal professionals Have Encouraged Me Not to Comment on the Two Counts of Sexual Assault I’m Charged With simply isn’t a marketing campaign slogan that inspires a lot have confidence in.

With data files from Ben Spurr, Jennifer Pagliaro and David Rider



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