Michael Thompson (Canadian politician)

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Michael Thompson
Thompson in 2020
Toronto City Councillor for (Ward 21) Scarborough Centre
Ward 37 (2003-2018)
Assumed office
December 1, 2003
Preceded byLorenzo Berardinetti
Chair of the Scarborough Community Council
In office
June 27, 2005 – December 1, 2006
Preceded byRaymond Cho
Succeeded byNorm Kelly
Personal details
ResidenceToronto, Ontario, Canada

Michael Thompson (About this soundListen) is a city councillor in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, as well as the current Deputy Mayor for the east area of the City.[1] He represents Ward 21 (formerly Ward 37) Scarborough Centre.[2] Raised in Scarborough, Thompson is a Jamaican Canadian. He is a past member (December 8, 2010 - December 1, 2014) of the Toronto Police Services Board.[3]

Early life[edit]

Thompson received his public school education from Ionview Public School and Sir John A. Macdonald Collegiate in Scarborough, and completed a BA at Concordia University in Montreal. Prior to being elected as a city councillor, he worked in the financial services industry, and founded a business services company.[4]

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 successfully ran to replace him in the 2003 Toronto municipal election.

With a focus on "law and order" issues, Thompson is considered[by whom?] one of the more right-wing members of Toronto council. Soon after his election, he earned considerable and generally positive media attention[citation needed] 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, dubbed "The Summer of the Gun", where Toronto saw a wave of shootings particularly in certain low-income neighbourhoods,[5] 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. Thompson was accused 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.[6]

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.[citation needed]

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.[7]

Thompson had an expense claim of $300 to have his office blessed by a local Baptist Pastor in December 2010.[8]

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."[9]

Thompson was re-elected in the 2014 municipal election with over 80% of the vote.

In May 2017, Thompson helped Air Canada crew and other passengers restrain an unruly passenger who allegedly tried to open a cabin door on a flight from Jamaica to Toronto, which had to subsequently be diverted to Orlando, Florida.[10]

Thompson ran for Councillor for Toronto City Council in the 2018 municipal election in the newly expanded Ward 21 Scarborough Center, created as a result of the Toronto ward boundary changes imposed by the Ontario government of Doug Ford in the middle of the campaign, winning with a large plurality.

In 2019, Toronto Mayor John Tory named Thompson the city's first Ambassador for the Night Economy, a role created to help spotlight and support businesses that flourish when the daytime economy sleeps.[11][12]

Election results[edit]

2014 Toronto election, Ward 37
Candidate Votes %
Michael Thompson 16,315 80.683%
Niranjan Balachandran 2,440 12.067%
Luigi Lisciandro 1,466 7.250%
Total 20,221 100%

Unofficial results as of October 27, 2014 11:51 PM [13]

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%

2010 City Clerk's Official Declaration of Results [14]

2006 Toronto election, Ward 37
Candidate Votes %
Michael Thompson 11,987 87.146%
Isabelle Champagne 1,094 7.953%
Total 13,755 100%

2006 City Clerk's Official Declaration of Results [15]

2003 Toronto election, Ward 37
Candidate Votes %
Michael Thompson 7,680 49.568%
Helen Zoubaniotis 4,124 26.617%
Laura-Maria Nikolareizi 1,156 7.461%
Andrew Schulz 1,081 6.977%
Greg Crompton 553 3.569%
David Finnamore 470 3.033%
Georges Legault 430 2.775%
Total 15,494 100%

2003 City Clerk's Official Declaration of Results [16]


  1. ^ "Councillor Michael Thompson". City of Toronto. 2017-08-22. Retrieved 2020-06-30.
  2. ^ "Toronto election 2018: Ward 21 Scarborough Centre - Toronto | Globalnews.ca". globalnews.ca. October 13, 2018.
  3. ^ "Toronto Police Services Board - Past Members". www.tpsb.ca. Retrieved 2020-06-30.
  4. ^ "Michael Thompson". Michael Thompson. Retrieved 2020-06-30.
  5. ^ "Too soon to tell if this year will repeat 2005 'Summer of the Gun': expert". Global News. Retrieved 2020-06-30.
  6. ^ CTV.ca
  7. ^ "thestar.com - Toronto Star - Canada's largest daily". thestar.com. Archived from the original on 2007-03-11.
  8. ^ Yang, Jennifer (March 17, 2011). "Councillor spends taxpayers' money to have office blessed". Toronto Star. Retrieved February 22, 2018.
  9. ^ "Toronto council to vote on stripping Ford of some mayoral powers". thestar.com.
  10. ^ D'Amore, Rachael (May 17, 2017). "Toronto councillor helps restrain unruly passenger on Air Canada flight". Toronto Star. Retrieved May 17, 2017.
  11. ^ Barron's accessed November 10, 2019
  12. ^ "Michael Thompson". Michael Thompson. Retrieved 2020-06-30.
  13. ^ "Election Results | City of Toronto | 2014 General Election Results for City Ward 37 - Scarborough Centre". October 27, 2014. Archived from the original on October 29, 2014. Retrieved October 29, 2014.
  14. ^ "Declaration of Results of Voting – Monday, October 25, 2010" (PDF). October 28, 2010. p. 8. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 29, 2014. Retrieved October 29, 2014.
  15. ^ "Declaration of Results of Voting – Monday, November 13, 2006" (PDF). November 16, 2006. p. 7. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 29, 2014. Retrieved October 29, 2014.
  16. ^ "Declaration of Results of Voting – Monday, November 10, 2003" (PDF). November 13, 2003. p. 6. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 29, 2014. Retrieved October 29, 2014.

External links[edit]