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Levy loses in St Paul’s

Lesbian PC candidate defeated in by-election

Sue-Ann Levy, the Toronto Sun columnist who ran as a Progressive Conservative (PC) candidate in the provincial by-election in Toronto’s St Paul’s riding, was soundly defeated at the polls on Sep 17.

Levy lost by a wide margin to Liberal Eric Hoskins.

During the campaign Levy described herself to Xtra as an out and proud lesbian and an example of the “new face” of the Progressive Conservative Party. She told Xtra she is fiscally conservative but socially responsible. “I have a soft spot for the homeless,” she said.

The idea of using public money to fund private schools — including faith-based ones that teach moral proscriptions against homosexuality — was a huge issue in the 2007 Ontario general election.

Partway through that campaign then-PC leader John Tory promised that as premier he would use taxpayer money to fund faith-based private schools. The idea was profoundly unpopular and support for the PCs quickly evaporated. That move is widely seen as a hamfisted tactical blunder that destroyed any momentum Tory had left and lost the election for the PCs.

Tory didn’t even win a seat, losing in Don Valley West to Liberal incumbent, and lesbian, Kathleen Wynne.

But Levy, who is a former education reporter, declined to take a position on public funding for faith-based schools when Xtra spoke with her in September.

“Voters have spoken loud and clear,” said Levy, before saying she would have to research the issue before taking a firm position.

With files from Michael Pihach.