Conrad Black backs candidate in T.O. mayoral race
Published Monday, April 19, 2010 11:43AM EDT
Ex-media tycoon Conrad Black has waded into Toronto's upcoming mayoralty race by declaring his support for one of the candidates in his regular newspaper column, penned from a correctional facility in the U.S.
Sarah Thomson, the only woman running for mayor in Toronto's 2010 municipal election, is Black's candidate of choice.
In his wide-ranging column in Saturday's National Post, Black reflects on Toronto's "long but desultory effort to gain recognition as one of the world's great cities." The city is missing the collective romance and drama that has defined great cities such as London, Paris and Berlin, he argues.
In Canada, only "jaded" Montreal "has some of the romance and drama municipal greatness is made of."
Canada's most populous city, he argues, needs a mayor "to take (it) up the last steps of urban distinction."
Former provincial minister George Smitherman and Rocco Rossi are not the people to do it, according to Black.
"They are very humdrum; worthy at best, and I wouldn't bet the ranch on that," he writes.
But Thomson, 42, would be "a refreshingly surprising ambassadress for Toronto who would certainly liven things up," Black writes.
"She would put an end to this insufferable tussle between the Liberals and NDP that goes back to William Dennison about who can run City Hall with more self-serving complacency," he writes.
Black, 65, is currently serving a six-and-a-half year prison sentence in Florida after being convicted in 2007 of three counts of fraud and one count of obstruction of justice. He is appealing his conviction to the Supreme Court of the United States.
Thomson, 42, filed her candidacy for the race in January. She founded Women's Post Media, which publishes the Women's Post, a business newspaper for women distributed in Toronto. The publication was started in 2002.
Curiously, Thomson told the Toronto Sun in January that when she was looking to start the Women's Post, she first approached Conrad Black and former Canwest CEO Leonard Asper for financial backing, but both men turned her down.