POLITICS

Toronto Sun's Sue-Ann Levy: Kathleen Wynne's Ontario Doesn't Include White Males

07/22/2013 10:39 EDT

A Toronto Sun columnist finds something strange about a new, 30-second ad promoting Ontario Liberals and Premier Kathleen Wynne.

Namely, the absence of white men.

The ad reflects Wynne’s focus on job creation in advance of five big byelections on August 1, showing Wynne meeting various people, many visible minorities, and scenes of women and young children.

It’s pretty standard stuff, really.

But in a column published Monday morning, Sue-Ann Levy took issue with what’s not shown.

"Evidently Wynne’s Ontario does not include white males, unless they are a former union head and now the Liberal candidate for London West, Ken Coran," Levy wrote. "Or any other teacher union leader for that matter. Can we say Sam Hammond? Or James Ryan? Or Paul Elliott, Coran’s replacement?"

Though much of the column focused on Wynne’s job record, Levy said an abundance of "highly visible minorities" in the ad is a deliberate ploy by Ontario Liberals.

"They wanted to perpetuate the myth that they are the party of visible minorities, the poor and disenfranchised, immigrants and of course, Ontario’s LGBT population," Levy wrote. "White males — grey-haired and well-heeled preferably — have to be Conservative."

A Liberal staffer apparently told Levy the footage was taken from various events and reflected a wide-array of individuals.

Levy’s focus on race likely won’t sit well with those who have accused the controversial journalist of making racially-insensitive remarks in the past.

Levy sparked controversy in January after tweeting about the clothing choices of Toronto city Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam, who came to Canada from Hong Kong as a child.

"Nice to see Cllr Kristyn Wong-Tam wearing one of her trademark People’s Republic of China suits," she wrote.

Though Wong-Tam largely brushed the comment off, others called Levy’s remark "blatantly racist."

And in October of 2012, Levy was accused of both racism and Islamophobia after a tweet about the U.S. presidential election.

"Obama says he 'will stand' with Israel if attacked and they are a true friend.' His nose is growing again. #MuslimBS," she wrote.

The hashtag — '#MuslimBS' — was seemingly a reference to conspiracy theories surrounding Obama’s religion and sparked intense criticism from journalists and others online.

Levy did not apologize but a tweet posted on the Sun’s Twitter account called the hashtag "inappropriate" and said it did not reflect the views of the newspaper.

Levy, a former municipal affairs columnist, was moved to the Queen’s Park beat in June. Sun columnist Mike Strobel sparked controversy when he wrote that Levy covering Ontario politics would send Wynne — Canada’s first gay premier — "screaming back to men."

Levy also ran unsuccessfully for the Progressive Conservatives in a 2009 provincial byelection.

The latest polls suggest Ontario Liberals may be in jeopardy of losing seats, and may even drop the Toronto riding of Etobicoke-Lakeshore where Toronto’s Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday has momentum.

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