Now that Jack Layton is riding high, the pro-Liberal newspaper the Toronto Star is playing dirty politics:
From time to time [Jack Layton] has been criticized for saying one thing and doing another, including being caught red-handed in 1985 living in subsidized housing in Toronto when his and Olivia Chow, then a Toronto trustee, were raking in a combined $120,000 year.
“Caught red-handed?” Good Lord.
Let’s try to lay this roorback to rest one more time.
On June 14, 1990, a Toronto Star hack named Tom Kerr accused Layton and Chow of living in subsidized housing in the Hazelburn Co-op on a more than healthy joint income.
Turned out it was all nonsense. 70% of the units in the co-op were being rented at market rates, including Chow and Layton’s digs. By March, 1990 they voluntarily began paying additional funds to offset their portion of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation subsidy to the co-op—the only members of the co-op who did so.
Responding to Kerr’s faux-exposé, the co-op board stated the plain facts: mixed-income tenancy was how co-ops survived. In June, 1990, the Toronto city solicitor cleared Layton and Chow of any wrongdoing.* Later that month, the two bought a house in Toronto’s Chinatown with Chow’s mother, something they had been planning for a while.
Now the Star is raking up a 21-year-old smear once again. But the above, I trust, puts this further graf in context:
“Jack once told me many years after that incident that it is the one thing he has never able to purge or expunge from the public’s mind, this apparent contradiction,” said former seatmate Brian Ashton.
“Apparent.” And like any other Big Lie, it becomes more difficult to “purge or expunge” with every sleazy, politically-motivated repetition.
How desperate can the Liberals and their dutiful house-organ be?
I think we know the answer to that.
[H/t Alison, b/c]
* Polanyi, Margaret. “Layton cleared of wrongdoing: Police say councillor committed no impropriety by living in co-op.” Globe and Mail, 17/08/90: A8