Susan Cole, the self-acclaimed militant and proud lesbian writer for the Toronto weekly NOW magazine, is one of my favorite Toronto columnists. I enjoy her writing because she is honest, tough, authentic and highly principled. The fact that I disagree with her 90 per cent of the time is irrelevant.
In a recent edition of NOW, Susan champions the election of Kathleen Wynne, Ontario's first gay woman premier. But to Susan's credit, she still questions Wynne's leadership notwithstanding, Kathleen has struck a positive blow for the LGBT (Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender) movement in Ontario politics.
Cole still blames Wynne in part for the Liberals' disastrous Ornge air ambulance scandal. And also the scandalous cancellation of gas plants by the Ontario Liberals for clear political gain. Susan Cole also nails Wynne and the Liberals, for typically trying to be all things to all people and shifting ground when the opportunity arises.
On her sharp criticism of the Liberals and Wynne, I am 100 per cent behind you, Susan. Susan Cole concludes, that she is more concerned about Wynne's policies, than her sexual orientation. Susan Cole confesses that she would no more vote for Kathleen Wynne, because she is gay, than she would vote for Alison Redford, the Progressive Conservative Alberta Premier, because she is a woman. I really admire Susan Cole for her principles.
However, it its interesting to note, that to date, even the supremely tough and uncompromising Susan Cole has yet to question Premier Wynne's unholy alliance with certain conservative segments of Toronto's Muslim community.
Apparently, some of Wynne's Toronto Muslim supporters, are the same people who are anti-gay for religious reasons and clearly do not believe in the equal treatment of women. Certain liberal members of the Toronto Muslim community have been publicly calling upon Premier Kathleen Wynne to denounce those in the Muslim community who are anti-gay and who do not subscribe to Canadian values of the equal treatment of men and women.
To date, Susan Cole and NOW magazine, have been strangely silent on this controversy within the Toronto Muslim community. I suspect Susan Cole, as she has done in the past, will do the right thing.
On a personal note, Susan Cole and I, in the 70s, were on student government together at Harvard/Radcliffe. What a strange political team we made! Susan, the then radical and militant feminist representing Radcliffe women and Radcliffe dorms. I, on the other hand, a conservative preppie representing the more traditional and Waspish Harvard House system. We were like two aliens from two different planets. However, deep down we were two very nice Canadians from middle class backgrounds. I thought we worked well together and we genuinely tried to improve the living conditions in both the Radcliffe dorms and the Harvard Houses. Susan probably thought that I was neo-con dick. But I knew Susan was an impressive political force, even back then, in the tumultuous 70s at Harvard/Radcliffe.