It was with incredible joy that I learned that Scarborough Southwest Liberal MP Tom Wappel is not seeking re-election after his current term. From a progressive perspective, you can’t get much worse than Wappel. When he threw his hat in the ring for a Liberal leadership convention in 1990, he pledged to make abortion a crime punishable by life imprisonment. According to the Toronto Star, he described same-sex marriage as a sham and a hoax. He argued that anyone with HIV should be denied refugee status in Canada. On the positive side, he did advocate for improved nutritional labeling on Canadian foods.
The lead story in the current issue of Spacing magazine (penned by Eye Weekly city editor Ed Keenan) discusses the great potential of Scarborough, arguing that it is a far stronger example of successful integration of very diverse communities than downtown Toronto. I’m looking to the people of Scarborough to surprise and delight us with a new elected official who reflects this promise. The former borough got off to a great start in the recent municipal contest when they elected progressive school-board trustee Nadia Bello, who has been involved in Scarborough queer Pride organizing and TEACH (Teens Educating and Confronting Homophobia).
Stand up, Scarborough! Yes, you gave us the Barenaked Ladies and numerous other notables. It’s time to shine again. We’re counting on you!