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Glen Murray Scandals Scuttle Winnipeg Mayoral Coronation

‘Keffiyeh be gone’ as Toronto voters turf School Board chair

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Formerly the Mayor of Winnipeg, an Ontario Liberal MPP, and a Green Party leadership candidate, Glen Murray remains an unemployed politician after accruing only 25% of the ballots in the 2022 Winnipeg mayoral race.  (Photos: The Great Canadian Talk Show)

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“Did CBC Spoil Glen Murray’s Birthday With Pembina Institute Surprise?” I asked in my Winnipeg election podcast series on September 30th – and in fact, the question was prophetic.

Eighteen years after he abandoned City Hall for a failed run at greener (federal) pastures, Winnipeg voters rejected Glen Murray once and for all, as they gave the Mayoralty contest on October 26 to Coun. Scott Gillingham by a margin of 4400 votes.

No amount of robocalls by Gail Asper, Charles Adler and other ‘influencers’ promoting Murray’s record as the urbanist star of the 1990’s could pivot electors away from the scandals he accrued during his time away from Winnipeg. 

Power-brokers from across the political spectrum, and especially city unions, had counted on Murray to waltz to victory and deliver on his backroom promises, buttressed by a dubious Probe poll early in the campaign. After the pollsters engineered their survey report to deliver headlines proclaiming Murray the “front-runner”, the mainstream media crowed about Murray having “solid support” in a “poll of 600 online voters”. But his actual committed vote from that pool was literally, all of 50 people from the original 600. Former NDP Health Minister Sharon Blady was perturbed that Murray was “for some bizarre reason being treated like a returning hero.”

When the scandals from his time as an MPP in Toronto and after that, as executive director at the Calgary office of the Pembina Institute were exposed by CBC’s Bartley Kives, the supposed “25 point” margin over Gillingham evaporated to 9 points. 

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As explained by The Daily Scrum, “allegations made by Murray’s past colleagues (called) into question his character. Some of these allegations were first reported by C.B.C. of Murray being intoxicated at a work function, sexual harassment, making sexual innuendos in the workplace, physically assaulting a former employee and rubbing up against him, “pelvis to buttocks.” In addition to these allegations, former Caledon Mayor Marolyn Morrison had also made allegations of intimidation by the former Mayor when he was a Member of the Provincial Parliament in the Ontario Legislature.” 

While the ‘stop-Murray vote’ coalesced around 2-term councillor Gillingham, Murray failed to present himself as the ‘stop-Gillingham’ candidate. Tactically he would have had to pin the failings of the regime on Gillingham’s unfailing support for the smarmy Brian Bowman, political baggage that no other candidate exploited either.  As a result, Murray lost substantial support in the inner-city to upstart Shaun Loney, whose campaign was run by federal NDP back-roomers.

Then at the CBC debate on October 19, Murray floundered on the issues repeatedly. Gillingham directly challenged him that his firing from the Alberta think-tank was the real reason Murray scurried back to Winnipeg to revive his political career.

The next day, CBC broadcast a follow-up story that sunk Murray’s campaign with even more damning complaints from the Toronto office of the Pembina Institute: “Mayoral candidate Glen Murray tried to find out who made complaints when he led think-tank, emails suggest; Correspondence appears to contradict claim he wasn’t made aware of complaints about him at Pembina Institute.”

The record-low voter turnout at 37.5% also hurt Murray at the ballot box, with many believing that the ‘front-runner’ proclamations ultimately served to suppress voter interest in exercising their franchise.

An argument can also be made that the lacklustre council campaign, with only two seats wide open, contributed to voter apathy. In those races, Evan Duncan won in his second attempt to represent Charleswood-Tuxedo-Westwood, overcoming the 20 point lead of CJOB radio presenter Hal Anderson in an early poll; and the mercurial former councilman Shawn Dobson, who shunned almost all media coverage, took Gillingham’s vacated St. James ward by about 8% over Kelly Ryback.

There was only one incumbent dislodged, as Transcona chose to replace one-term councillor Shawn Nason with long-time former representative Russ Wyatt. Councilors in two wards were returned by acclamation. The other ten wards re-elected the holdovers with clear majorities, including Jewish council members John Orlikow and Sherri Rollins.

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In the Ontario municipal elections, the Toronto Star reported, “In a surprising defeat, Alexander Brown, chair of the Toronto District School Board, lost his seat in Ward 12 to Weidong Pei, a dentist who ran a well-organized campaign, knocking on doors and blanketing Willowdale with election signs.”

Brown had participated in the bizarre seven month persecution of fellow trustee Alexandra Lulka, who had spoken out against a TDSB “equity” employee distributing what she called “repulsive” material that supported anti-Israel terror groups PFLP and Hamas. Online observers of the TDSB meeting to decide whether to censure Lulka were stunned to see Board chair Brown wearing a keffiyah.

After a mysteriously timed break in the proceedings, he returned with his hair combed and the keffiyeh replaced by a sweater vest. Twitter lit up about Brown’s not-so-subtle virtue signal and some residents promised to pursue a formal complaint that he tried to prejudice the vote.

In the end, the public had their own say, using their own vote on October 24 to saddle Brown with the notoriety of being the only TDSB incumbent to taste defeat.

In response to the upset result, veteran city hall reporter Sue Ann Levy replied, “Keffiyeh be gone.” 

Marty Gold is the Editor-in -Chief of TheJ.ca. Known for investigative reporting, he has specialized in covering municipal and provincial politics, and a wide range of sports and entertainment, in newspapers, magazines, online, and on his first love, radio. His business and consulting experience includes live events and sales, workplace safety, documentary productions, PR, and telecommunications in Vancouver, Los Angeles and across Canada, and as a contestant on CBC-TV Dragons Den.

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Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

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