Smitherman the target of 'homophobic' ads
Thing are turning nasty in the final hours of the Toronto municipal election, after defamatory signs and radio ads targeting George Smitherman popped up overnight.
Signs appeared along Danforth Avenue, near Victoria Park, on Sunday suggesting Muslims should not vote for George Smitherman because he is a homosexual.
"Should Muslim vote for him who married a man?" the crudely designed signs read. Attached to the sign is a photograph of Smitherman and his husband Christopher Peloso, and a clipped newspaper headline referring to their adoption of a child.
The signs were posted on top of campaign signs for Ward 31 Beaches-East York candidate Rasal Rahman. Rahman's website includes an endorsement from Smitherman.
On Sunday, radio ads calling for Tamil residents to support Ford because he is married to a woman began running on the Canadian Tamil Broadcasting Corporation radio station and appeared online.
The advertisements were pulled from the air Sunday afternoon.
Smitherman's campaign issued a statement on Sunday calling the smear campaign "blatantly homophobic."
"I will remain focused on offering a Toronto that finds strength in our diversity and builds for the future, not divides," Smitherman said in a statement.
Rob Ford and Joe Pantalone spoke out against the advertisements on Sunday, calling them inappropriate and cowardly.
"It is not good for politics, generally speaking. It is just bad. I don't condone that sort of behaviour," Ford said. "I can't control it; you don't know who they are. There is no name attached to them."
Added Pantalone: "I would never support or condone it in any way, shape or form. It is wrong; it is simply wrong."
It is unknown who is responsible for the signs.
Earlier in the campaign, a number of signs purportedly promoting the mayoral campaign of an unnamed "Wife-beating, racist drunk" were posted along University Avenue.
With a report from CTV Toronto's Alicia Markson