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Lesbian takes up the Tory torch

Sue-Ann Levy to run in by-election

An out lesbian has been selected by the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario to run in an upcoming Toronto by-election.

Writer Sue-Ann Levy, city hall columnist for the Toronto Sun, filed nomination papers to run as a candidate in the midtown riding of St Paul’s on Aug 14. The Thu, Sep 17 by-election will fill the seat vacated by former cabinet minister Michael Bryant who represented the riding for a decade.

The by-election will be the first time voters have hit the polls since Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty announced the plan to merge the eight percent provincial sales tax with the five percent federal GST.

Levy’s opponents include NDP Julian Heller, a lawyer; Liberal Eric Hoskins, an adviser to former federal cabinet minister Lloyd Axworthy; and realtor/activist Chris Chopik, who is representing the Green Party.

In an interview with The Globe and Mail on Aug 19 McGuinty said he “wasn’t a big fan” of plunging into a summer by-election out of fairness to voters, who presumably prefer vacationing to voting. However the premier added he’s given all parties enough time to prep for the race.

Levy, 52, will take a leave-of-absence from the Toronto Sun during the by-election. She is expected to have mass appeal in her riding as a Jewish candidate in a primarily Jewish riding. Reports also say the Tories are riding on her appeal as a strong fiscal conservative and recently married gay woman.