Christopher Peloso, husband of George Smitherman, is missing

Christopher Peloso, 39, has been missing since Monday afternoon. The husband of George Smitherman, former mayoral candidate, was last seen in the Davenport Road/Bathurst Street area.

Peloso was last seen wearing a dark-blue hooded jacket, tan cargo shorts and blue flip flops. He is 5 foot 8 and 150 pounds, white with brown hair and brown eyes.

Through his website, Smitherman released a statement about his husband’s disappearance.

“I regret to confirm that Christopher Peloso has been missing from our home for almost 24 hours. Michael, Kayla and myself, with the support of family and friends, are hopeful that our husband and father will be home safely soon,” he wrote.

Smitherman and Peloso were married in 2007 and have two adopted children.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-1300, Crime Stoppers at 416-222-8477,  online at 222 Tips, text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637), or leave a tip on the Toronto Police Service  Facebook page.


UPDATE: Peloso has been located. Police tracked his cellphone signal to Dupont and Lansdowne and found him alive and conscious.

#TOpoli with Sarah Thomson, Adam Vaughan, Andy Byford, and Travis Myers (July 22, 2013)

#TOpoli explores politics, transit, city building, and more more in the city of Toronto with a digital edge and a constant eye on the #TOpoli hashtag while live on the air.

#TOpoli with Sarah Thomson, Monday July 22:
Sarah welcomes guests Councillor Adam Vaughan, TTC CEO Andy Byford, in-studio guest Women’s Post editor Travis Myers to discuss the future on development on Bathurst with or without a Walmart, issues of funding transit, LRTs versus subways in Scarborough, the Downtown Relief Line, and much more.



Follow Sarah on Twitter at @ThomsonTO and Travis at @TravMyers.

Former PC MPP (and current PC candidate) says ‘females’ only vote Liberal because they are uninformed

In the wake of a recent UK study that determined women are less aware of current affairs than men former Progressive Conservative MPP (1995-2003) and current PC candidate for the riding of Kitchener Centre Wayne Wettlaufer may have been over confident when he told Queen’s Park Briefing reporter Ashley Csanady over Twitter that ‘females’ vote Liberal because they are uninformed.

The tweet from the former seat holder, which was quickly deleted, stirred across social media including retweets of the screen grab on Twitter, postings on Reddit, and postings throughout Facebook.

Reporter Csanady was accused on Twitter of inciting the comment with “anti-feminist” talking points, but she staunchly defended her feminist cred — cred which is entirely endorsed by Women’s Post and this writer.

One of the rising young stars of QP Briefing, Kitchener native Csanady cut her teeth on feminist and arts writing in independent publications.

Sounding off on the tweet from Wayne Wettlaufer, we can’t help but think that this politician, left for a decade out of the house to dry, might have just lost himself the ‘female’ vote in 140 characters or less.

It is also worth noting that the English language does in fact have a collective noun for human females: women.

Check out the screencap of the offending tweet below and let us know what you think. Did Wettlaufer go to far by painting women as ignorant?


You can follow Travis on Twitter at @TravMyers and get the latest news on offensive tweets from @WomensPost

Toronto’s not broken just bent

Amid the scandal and smoke that swirls around city hall it is good to know there are some people and organizations in Toronto who push forward to tackle the real issues holding back our city. Credit should be given to organizations like the Toronto Transit Alliance for the work they are doing to educate and inform Toronto area residents of the need to come together and build a great city.


Be sure to follow Women’s Post on Twitter at @WomensPost.

Mayor’s Chief of Staff Towhey removed from Toronto City hall

Mark Towhey is no longer working for the office of the Mayor. On May 23, he was escorted out of City Hall.

A longstanding ally of Mayor Rob Ford, Towhey served as an advisor on the campaign trail and helped to develop Ford’s economic platform.

According to the official press release, “The Mayor thanks Mr. Towhey for his valuable service and wishes him the very best in his future endeavours. Earl Provost, Deputy Chief of Staff, will assume the role of Acting Chief of Staff until further notice.”

Although the press release makes no reference to Ford’s recent scandals, the timing of the dismissal raises a multitude of questions. What was the official reason for the dismissal? What does Towhey know about Ford’s recent troubles?

Towhey has chosen not to elaborate on what he knows, nor on the reaon for his dismissal.

Sarah Thomson, former mayoral candidate, head of the Transit Alliance, and publisher of Women’s Post made the following statement:

“Everyone knows someone who has suffered from drug and/or alcohol addiction. Allowing an addict to deny their addiction or ignore it, does more to enable them than and little to help them. This is why an addict will often cut off anyone who cares enough to try to help them.

That Mayor Ford has let his closest ally go may say more about Mr. Towhey’s strength of character than any of us will ever know.

I am sorry for the predicament Mayor Ford is in, and do encourage him to lean on friends and family for support and advice.”

Ford’s silence on crack allegations is about to make Toronto $200,000 more dangerous

Rob Ford, you need to come clean. The longer you refrain from saying yes or no to these allegations the closer the people of Toronto come to giving $200,000 dollars to a group of drug dealers. The clock is ticking.

Right now Toronto is buzzing. Did the mayor smoke crack? Is he in with a group of drug dealers? These are questions that are up in the air right now. The fact is: three journalists — okay, two journalists and one gossip-hound — say they have viewed a video of what appears to be Rob Ford uttering slurs against racial minorities and gays and smoking crack cocaine.

The allegations weigh heavy against you, Rob. Despite whatever vendetta that you and your brother think the Star has out against you there is no way that they would fabricate anything about this, barring a complete and utter bankruptcy of ethics and disregard for the law.

If the people of Toronto are to trust our most seasoned and talented journalists (and one seasoned and talented gossip-hound) we have to accept it as a fact that a video of what appears to be Rob Ford smoking crack exists.

The ball is in your court, Rob, and it has been for one full week now.

Your silence, aside from a few one-sentence dismissals of the pack of journalists desperate to get to the bottom of this, is more than a political or legal move. Right now your silence, Rob, is dangerous.

With every minute that ticks by a new donation is being made to Gawker’s crowd-funding project. As of lunch time on May 23 it sits at $133,291, just a few dollars shy of two-thirds complete.

This money is going to people who are admitted crack dealers; shady men who dart in and out of cars in parking lots at night and live off the proceeds to selling poison. These people are about to be two hundred grand richer.

The things they could spend this money on are easy to imagine. Pouring that money directly into the lowest rung of the drug trade can only result in more drugs on the streets, more guns in the hands of criminals, and more dead bodies.

Rob, the longer you refrain from doing anything the more money the people of Toronto donate towards these drug dealers in an attempt to gain some form of answer to the question of whether or not their mayor is smoking crack.

You need to respond to these allegations by saying something, anything.

If it isn’t true, although the chances of this being the case seem slimmer and slimmer as the days go by, help the city of Toronto like you want to and come out fists blazing in denial like you always do. Will this please everyone? No. But it could help to stop the slow and steady ebb of your former supporters looking for some kind of answer by donating to this fund.

If it is true and you did smoke crack and it is on video, please, please come forward and tell the people of Toronto what you did. Admit that it is true, that you are a flawed man who smoked crack, and beg everyone to stop donating, not for the sake of your political career or your brother’s ambitions, but for the sake of every person who might die of a gunshot or a drug overdose if this project succeeds.

Your claim to want to help the people of Toronto was at least believable before. You did your best to help people who shared your views on subways and garbage collection. Right now your silence is helping no one but yourself to avoid embarrassment and putting the lives of others at risk.

The people at Gawker and the people of Toronto are not innocent in this either. These people are knowingly opening up their wallets to drug dealers and criminals, and in the aftermath of this situation, another summer of the gun or a Toronto crack epidemic, they’ll also have themselves to blame. But nobody holds more cards in this game than you, Rob, and your poker face is a time bomb waiting to go off in the ghetto.

Step up, Rob. If you love this city like you claim, if you want to help people, you will step forward and say something, anything, or the blood of Toronto’s next Jane Creeba will be all over your hands.


Follow Travis on Twitter: @travmyers

Women of the week: Heather Kleb

What do you think of when you think of nuclear energy?

Interim president and CEO of the Canadian Nuclear Association (CNA), Heather is striving to create a more positive environment for nuclear energy, educating the masses on the many positives of the power source while helping to advance the industry.

“I’m a big believer in nuclear energy, because it’s good for the environment and it’s good for the economy. We supply much needed power while minimizing the release of greenhouse gases. And our industry provides thousands of highly skilled, well paying and rewarding jobs while doing it.  Basically, it’s good for Canadians,” Heather says.

With a background in environmental science, Heather has a great deal of experience working in what she calls “responsible resource development.” After several years of working in the mining and logging industries, Heather was offered the role of environmental scientist with Atomic Energy of Canada Limited and found her niche. Ten years later, she is serving as the interim president and CEO.

A female CEO in a scientific association might seem like an oddity to an outside spectator, but Heather sees it as an example of the way things are moving in this field.

“I think that the fact that our Board of Directors asked me to assume the interim president and CEO role speaks volumes about our industry.  There is definitely a growing number of women in senior roles throughout our industry,” she says.

A firm believer in the nuclear industry, Heather would like to see the number grow and encourages other women to consider the field.

“It currently provides over 30,000 interesting, challenging and rewarding jobs for Canadians.”

As part of her job, Heather works to combat the negative images of nuclear energy and has participated in a number of regulatory hearings.  When asked, however, about what stands out as memorable about these hearings, she chooses not to dwell on “the antics of the very passionate non-governmental organizations,” who tend to have a very vocal presence. Instead, she highlights the actions of Port Hope Mayor Linda Thompson.

“Mayor Thompson spoke thoughtfully to the benefits the nuclear industry would bring to her community and the families that live there,” Heather says.

This resolve, to highlight the positive elements of her field while refusing to get bogged down by the negative characters who seek to destroy nuclear power, stands out in Heather’s character. She believes in her industry and wants to raise awareness about the many ways nuclear energy can improve people’s lives.

“The nuclear industry generates more than just power,” she says. “We produce isotopes that aid in the diagnosis and treatment of many forms of Cancer. In fact, Canada provides between 20-30% of the world’s supply of isotopes.”

This alternate purpose of nuclear technology is important to note, given the rising rates of cancer. As a testament to this link, the CNA is partnering with the Canadian Cancer Society and raising funds for research. Watch for the Relay for Life in Ottawa on June 7, hosted by the CNA.

An open letter to Mike Jeffries

Dear Mr. Jeffries,

My name is Andreea Hluscu, and it is fair to say we will never meet. I am writing to you because your latest comments about overweight, unattractive and not-so-cool kids affect me, and if you’re going to publically state that you look down on this group of individuals and refuse to sell your company’s clothing to them, I feel like I need to introduce myself.

I’m not really a cool or attractive kid by your definitions. I have a dry sense of humour, my eyebrows are usually uneven, I have a chipped front tooth that I’m too scared to get fixed, and I have a nervous habit of biting my nails. When I sit down, my thighs expand and I have a few rolls on my stomach that no amount of sit-ups can seem to fix. That being said, I also have a lot of really great qualities. I am educated, I am a kind person, I am loving and I am fortunate to be very loved in my life. I like my sense of humour and my ability to connect with others, and I work very hard because I have a lot of big dreams that I know I will accomplish. Unfortunately, Mr. Jeffries, I am not a size 4 and I probably will never be a size 4, but guess what? I’m still a good person.

Those people you’re putting down, the “not-so-cool” kids? Those happen to be some of the most interesting people I have ever met. They are the people with stories to tell. They are the ones who embrace their differences and are a better person because of all the struggles they have faced in their past. They are the ones with hearts as big as their brains, and if I were you I would be lucky to have those types of individuals wearing your brand.

Mike (I hope you don’t mind I’m calling you Mike!), I did a little bit of research on you and I discovered that you don’t have a child. I can’t say that surprised me. Maybe your comments wouldn’t be as harsh if you saw your own child cry to you after he/she got bullied for not being cool enough or attractive enough. Maybe you would be more accepting if you saw the struggles that young men and women face every day, or if you were aware of the rising rates of depression and eating disorders amongst youth. Maybe you would think twice about making hurtful comments towards human beings and let them decide whether or not they even want to wear your company’s clothing.

By the way, Mike, I own one thing from Abercrombie & Fitch and that’s a pair of sweatpants. In honour of you, I’m going to put them on and eat as much pizza in one sitting as I can.

Toronto City Council – rudderless, erratic and irresponsible

After spending the past week at city council I have come away disappointed and disgusted by some of the self-aggrandizing, weak-kneed opportunists the city has elected to council. Many councillors, who have claimed to support revenue tools for transit, withdrew their support, choosing to protect their political derrieres.

Here’s the background: Toronto has spent 40 years quibbling over subway and transit expansion – mostly due to the lack of funds to build anything. It’s easier for councillors to debate over the lines than to take a stand on funding tools. Over the past few years Mayor Ford has claimed that “efficiencies” and “developers” would pay for the subway expansion. However the efficiencies he found added up to very little and should properly go to balancing the budget with any surplus going to paying down the debt. Developers informed the Mayor that they could not sell condos above subway stations for the $4 to $5 million price tag required to cover the $200 million cost of building the subway stations below. The value of the “air rights” Mayor Ford claimed would more than pay for subway expansion was completely bogus.

Thank gracious we still have Metrolinx, the transit organization set up by the Province to build and expand transit across the GTHA. After years of consultation with transit experts, policy wonks and politicians, they created a 25 year transit expansion plan. But the plan needs to be funded and will cost approximately $50 billion – this works out to  $2 billion per year needed to get transit in the Toronto region caught up after 40 years of neglect. On May 27, Metrolinx will announce the funding tools they believe the Province should use.

This opened the door for Toronto to present direction on revenue tools to Metrolinx and so council instructed city manager, Joe Pennnachetti, to do extensive consultations with the public and create a report summing up what transit revenue tools Toronto residents wanted to support. The report was extensive and the top four revenue tools chosen through public consultations were:

  1. Sales Tax
  2. Fuel Tax
  3. Parking Levy
  4. Development Charges

However, the Mayor and his executive tried to block the city from submitting any revenue options to Metrolinx, in a bid to push responsibility for any “taxation” to the provincial level, where the Mayor’s brother Councillor Doug Ford is planning to run for the provincial Conservatives and could use the issue to further define his anti-tax campaign.

Council over-ruled the brothers Ford insisting a “mature” conversation was needed. Unfortunately nothing even coming close to a mature conversation could be found at last week’s debate, which saw councillors ignore all the research and instead fly off with their own funding ideas and digress into soap box campaign speeches on the need for particular subway lines in each of their wards.

Councillor Josh Matlow – one of the few brave councillors in the bunch – proposed Motion 1.b suggesting council support the revenue tools outlined in the city manager’s report. Unfortunately this led to heated debate that carried on for three days.

The debate was divisive and provided the perfect  opportunity for councillors vying for the Mayor’s chair to demonstrate their leadership skills. But leadership did not appear, and unfortunately the anti-tax chants coming from brothers Ford worked to eventually push councillors away from backing any of the funding tools the city manager put forward.

Councillor Glen De Baeremaeker tried to score points with his constituents by refusing to consent to any transit revenue tools if plans did not change to include a subway in his ward.

Councillor Stintz, who had originally claimed to want an “adult” conversation on revenue tools, yet again compromised her credibility by ignoring her prior support for the Big Move transit plan and endorsing Councillor De Baeremaeker’s demand for a subway line. Not only did she support a new transit map (that seemed to be drawn on the back of a napkin) but she also backed out of supporting the revenue tools that the City Manager, the Toronto Regional Board of Trade, Civic Action and the Toronto Transit Alliance have all endorsed.

At one point Councillor Ford announced to the press “that if subways required transit revenue tools then there wouldn’t be any subways for Toronto.”

Councillor Vaughn created a motion asking city council to support “a surcharge on vinyl labels as a new tax dedicated to fund subways.” This caused quite a reaction from Councillor Ford (who is also the CEO of Deco labels) and Vaughan eventually withdrew it.

But it was Councillor Josh Colle who announced the most conniving and devious motion of the week: to amend the original motion (supporting the city manager’s revenue tools recommendations) and delete all revenue tool recommendations.  On a side note I wonder if the arrival of MPP Mike Colle (father of Councillor Josh Colle) into city council chambers had anything to do with the younger Councillor’s subsequent motion to delete all revenue tool recommendations? His motion’s main agenda was to push responsibility for revenue tools up to the Provincial level, and it would seem that those who voted for it are more concerned about appearances than doing what is right for Toronto.

Such strategic political maneuvering allows Councillors who supported Councillor Colle’s motion to circumvent their duty to the city without being too suspect while at the same time allowing them to honestly claim they didn’t back any revenue tools for transit. So instead of directing the province with recommendations on the transit revenue tools the city manager compiled from weeks of consultations with the public, these councillors simply supplied the province with a list of tools each one of them personally would not support, ignoring the will of their constituents and the research provided to them by the city manager.

This pathetic political posturing was supported by:

Ana Bailåo, Michelle Berardinetti, Raymond Cho, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Vince Crisanti, Glen De Bearemaeker, Mike Del Grande, Fran Di Giorgio, Doug Ford, Rob Ford, Mark Grimes, Doug Holiday, Norm Kelly, Gloria Lindsay Luby, Giorgio Mammoliti, Peter Milczyn, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, James Pasternak, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, Karen Stintz, Michael Thompson, Krystin Wong-Tam

The councillors who stood firm in their commitment to transit revenue tools were:

Paul Ainslie, Maria Augimeri, Shelley Carroll, Janet Davis, Sarah Doucette, John Fillion, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Mike Layton, Chin Lee, Josh Matlow, Pam McConnell, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Joe Mihevc, Ron Moser, John Parker, Gord Perks and Adam Vaughan

These councillors deserve a hefty pat on the back for not putting their political careers ahead of doing what is needed for the Toronto. I tip my hat to each and every one of them.