Michael Thompson (Canadian politician)

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Michael Thompson
Toronto City Councillor Michael Thompson (cropped).jpg
Book donation ceremony at Winston Churchill Collegiate Institute on Nov 1, 2013
Toronto City Councillor for (Ward 37) Scarborough Centre
Incumbent
Assumed office
December 1, 2003
Preceded by Lorenzo Berardinetti
Chair of the Economic Development Committee
Incumbent
Assumed office
December 1, 2010
Preceded by Kyle Rae
Chair of the Scarborough Community Council
In office
June 27, 2005 – December 1, 2006
Preceded by Raymond Cho
Succeeded by Norm Kelly
Personal details
Nationality Canadian
Residence Toronto, Ontario
Occupation Financial Analyst

Michael Thompson is a city councillor in Toronto, Canada. He represents Ward 37, the western half of Scarborough Centre. Raised in Scarborough he has a BA in Economics from Concordia University. He is an African Canadian. He is currently Vice Chair of the Toronto Police Services Board.

Early life[edit]

Thompson graduated from Ionview Public School and Sir John A. Macdonald Collegiate in Scarborough. Prior to being elected as a city councillor, he worked in the financial services industry, and founded a business services company.

Political career[edit]

He entered local politics in 1994 but was defeated in his attempt to win election to Metro Toronto council by Norm Kelly. In 1998 he became assistant to Councillor Lorenzo Berardinetti. When Berardinetti was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, Thompson ran to replace him in the 2003 Toronto municipal election. Six other candidates ran against him; his main opponent was Laura-Maria Nikolareizi, an associate of outgoing Toronto mayor Mel Lastman.

With a focus on "law and order" issues, Thompson is considered one of the more right-wing members of Toronto council. Soon after his election, he earned considerable and generally positive media attention for his forceful calls to address urban violence. He campaigned for a time to retain Julian Fantino as chief of the Toronto Police Service, and also pushed for a hotline to report troublesome rodents.

In the summer of 2005, during what many saw as a wave of shootings in Toronto, particularly in certain low-income neighbourhoods, Thompson garnered national attention for a suggestion that Toronto police should potentially be allowed or expected to stop and search young Black Canadian males at random. Thompson argued that a large percentage of the guns being used and a large number of victims are in the black community. Many accused Thompson of racial profiling and also expressed surprise that a black politician would suggest such an idea. Thompson himself said that he did not actually suggest racial profiling and later clarified his proposal, stating that he would not call for police to pull people over just because they're black, but rather because gun violence was affecting the black community. Thompson said that phone calls and e-mails received by his office had been mostly positive.[1]

Despite this, Thompson quickly withdrew the suggestion, saying it was "not an idea we can or should try", and characterizing his comment as an "off-the-cuff" remark born of frustration with recent violence. Some critics suggested it could have been a calculated attempt to position himself for political advantage, perhaps for a conservative candidacy for mayor. Thompson denied he was thinking of a mayoral run.

Thompson and other Scarborough-area city councillors are currently campaigning to replace the Scarborough RT with a tunnelled extension of the Bloor-Danforth subway, arguing they could gain more ridership than the proposed Spadina line extension to York University. [2]

In November 2013, during the Rob Ford scandal over his behavior and drug use, city Councillors met to question Ford. Thompson questioned Ford about an alleged crack house. Ford replied “Have you visited the house? Have you walked in the house?” Thompson replied “I have no interest in being in that house. I am not a crack user.”[3]

Election results[edit]

2010 Toronto election, Ward 37
Candidate Votes  %
Michael Thompson 15,129 83.636%
Isabelle Champagne 1,571 8.685%
Fawzi Bidawi 1,014 5.606%
Sergio Otoya Salazar 375 2.073%
Total 18,089 100%

Unofficial results as of October 26, 2010 03:55 AM[4]

References[edit]

External links[edit]