Warren Kinsella accuses John Tory transit plan of segregation, apologizes
Kinsella continuing decades-old political battle with Tory
Mayoral candidate John Tory's transit plan leaves out communities like Rexdale and Jane and Finch, says Warren Kinsella, a political strategist involved with Olivia Chow's mayoral campaign.
Except he didn't use those exact words.
"Is John Tory’s SmartTrack, you know, Segregationist Track?" wrote Kinsella on Twitter, referencing SmartTrack, Tory's rail plan.
With the tweet was a photo showing Tory in front of a map, with X's through the communities Kinsella is accusing Tory of excluding. Those areas have substantial black populations.
"You will note we were careful to exclude Jane/Finch and Rexdale from SmartTrack," Kinsella added in a doctored photo of Tory.
The comments represent an increasingly chippy battle between Tory and Chow, who began their respective campaigns attacking the incumbent, Mayor Rob Ford.
Chow distanced herself from the comments, saying Kinsella is a volunteer and does not speak for her campaign.
Kinsella is president of Daisy Consulting, a firm Chow pays for media monitoring and other campaign help.
"Olivia Chow has to answer for this," says Tory spokesman Amanda Galbraith. "Saying this is a volunteer is simply not acceptable."
Chow pointed out that Kinsella apologized, though Tory supporters point out it was qualified.
"I don’t think he’s racist, at all," said Kinsella after deleting the original tweet. "I’d apologize to him if he’s genuinely offended. It’s fair to ask if his plan treats all parts of the city equally, however."
The public battles between Kinsella and Tory are decades old.
Kinsella came to prominence as a political strategist with former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien. He is famous for holding up a toy dinosaur on television, explaining it represented conservative views on science.
Tory was a strategist in federal politics as well, famous for an attack ad on Chrétien that highlighted his facial deformity, brought on by Bell's Palsy.
"I look forward to him finally apologizing for mocking my former boss's disability," Kinsella said.
In a press conference, Tory said he did not know what Kinsella was thinking, given the current racial tension in Ferguson, Missouri. Tory said Kinsella reached out to him over email, but he wanted to Chow to respond.
"You can cut him loose or you can cut him a cheque, you can't do both," said Tory about Chow having Kinsella on her campaign.
Tory also addressed for the attack ad against Chrétien that appeared 21 years ago.
"I took responsibility then and took responsibility since," said Tory. "I am sorry it infected the politics of the day."