Toronto
3 min

Tory supporters back Enza

Crossdressing Alliance candidate gets unlikely boost

PRETTY PLATFORMS. Were Tory supporters hoping to use Enza "Supermodel" Anderson to embarrass the Canadian Alliance? Credit: Peter Nogalo

Toronto Tories have been involved in Enza “Supermodel” Anderson’s bid for the Canadian Alliance leadership.



At least two people with Progressive Conservative connections have offered financial and logistic assistance to Enza, the drag queen best known for her third-place showing in Toronto’s mayor race two years ago.



Cameron MacLeod, a former Tory riding association president in Trinity-Spadina, and Carol Jamieson, a prominent West End Toronto Tory, left Enza’s campaign in early January. They had contacted the Enza campaign themselves in June to offer assistance.



A 35-year-old financier and veteran PC fundraiser, Duncan Jackman, is also on record for his assistance to Enza. He’s the son of former lieutentant-governor and big wig Conservative Hal Jackman.



To a public that has watched the Alliance and the Conservative parties cannibalize each other for domination of the federal political right, it looks like Tory backers are using the Enza campaign to highlight the Alliance’s image problem on gay rights, and to embarrass Stockwell Day, who resigned as Alliance leader last year to permit him to seek the job again.



Xtra has learned the split was caused by disagreement over whether Enza should have a platform. MacLeod and Jamieson wanted her to have no platform and instead run an anti-Alliance, anti-Day campaign.



Enza’s advisers and business partners in Enza Productions, Ian Ross and Bruce Walker, wanted Enza to have a platform and run more than a parody campaign against both the Alliance’s and Day’s anti-gay reputation.



“They wanted a ‘Fuck you, fuck Stockwell Day, fuck the Canadian Alliance campaign,'” said Ross, Enza’s communications director. “We didn’t want to go there. [We] wanted to hold the Canadian Alliance accountable on gay rights, racial issues.”



Ross said the substantial media attention Enza has received since launching her candidacy could be a powerful tool to promote tolerance.



“Now she’s got this attention, does she parade around like a screaming drag queen or speak about what’s dear to [her]?” Ross points to Enza’s Jan 19 speech at the first Alliance leadership debate that he says shows Enza has substance as well as style: “[Pierre] Trudeau would have been proud to read this speech.”



MacLeod says his involvement in Enza’s campaign was limited.



“I provided some advice and that’s all.”



He denies wanting to see the Alliance embarrassed, saying, “I happen to be living in this community and I wanted to see [Enza] go there [to the leadership].”



MacLeod says he is not currently a member of any political party. He cut the interview short before he was asked when he left the Progressive Conservatives.



When asked if a disagreement over strategy towards Day precipitated his departure from Enza’s campaign, he said he’s not involved in the Enza campaign, “because I am not involved.”



Jamieson did not return Xtra’s calls.



MacLeod and Jamieson offered assistance in giving Enza’s campaign the two things it needed to become official: Money and members.



In order to become a registered candidate for leader, a candidate must submit a $25,000 deposit and the names of 300 members in five provinces willing to nominate him or her. If a candidate receives more than 5 percent of the vote, $10,000 of the deposit is refunded.



Walker, Enza’s treasurer, would not reveal how much the campaign has raised, but says it has a “couple of hundred” members, from all provinces except Manitoba and PEI. He says he is grateful to MacLeod and Jamieson, “without who[m] we would not have got started.” He attributes their departure to the fact that, “all political movements have their dissidents.”



None of the sources interviewed by Xtra said either MacLeod or Jamieson guaranteed the money, but rather that they promised to connect the campaign with people (mostly Tories) who saw Enza as a vehicle to further humiliate the Alliance after its rocky year. Both did donate personally to the campaign, however.



When they left the campaign, Walker was left with their contacts in order to try and put together the Jan 23 fundraiser, which is crucial to Enza’s candidacy.



Alliance leadership rules allow people to give money to candidates with no requirement that the candidates report the names of people giving money. As such, Tories could contribute to Enza’s campaign without other Tories or the Alliance knowing, providing they were willing to forgo a tax receipt.



As of press time, Enza’s major fundraiser was scheduled for Jan 23 was expected to draw a moneyed, Bay St crowd. The deadline for filing papers, with deposit and nominators, is Thu, Jan 31.



At the first Alliance leadership debate on Jan 19, Enza’s campaign said campaign papers would be officially filed on Thu, Jan 24.





* Enza’s website, Enza.ca, contains information on how to donate to the campaign and sign up for Alliance memberships.