Sue-Ann Levy

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Sue-Ann Levy (born 1956) is a Canadian writer and political columnist. Her columns are distributed by Postmedia Network media company in Canada.

Levy is the niece of the late high-profile lawyer and municipal lobbyist Jeffrey S. Lyons.[1] She was hired by the Toronto Sun in the 1980s when Lyons's friend, Paul Godfrey,[2] was its publisher, and went on to become the newspaper's long-time City Hall columnist. Her writing now focuses primarily on the Legislative Assembly of Ontario (Queen's Park), the seat of the Government of Ontario, as well as municipal and social issues. She is the author of the book Underdog: Confessions of a Right-Wing Gay Jewish Muckraker (2016) and also appeared as a regular guest on The John Oakley Show on Talk 640 until 2018. She was previously a panelist on CBC Radio One's local Toronto afternoon drive show Here and Now, as well as an occasional commentator or panelist over various cable news channels.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Levy grew up in Hamilton, Ontario, the daughter of an accountant. Levy is the niece of the late Jeffrey S. Lyons, a Toronto lawyer and prominent municipal lobbyist who is best known for having been implicated in the MFP scandal at City Hall. She earned a journalism degree from Carleton University in 1978. After graduating from Carleton, Levy worked as an aide to Ontario Progressive Conservative cabinet minister Frank Drea before returning to school to earn an MBA from the University of Toronto in 1985. She then worked in public relations but left in order to enter journalism as a reporter for the Bracebridge Examiner, before being hired by the Toronto Sun in 1989.

At the Sun[edit]

Levy became the Sun's newspaper's City Hall columnist in 1998 and covered the mayoralties of Mel Lastman, David Miller, and Rob Ford before being moving on to Queen's Park. She has since returned to covering city politics under Mayor John Tory. In 2004, the Ryerson Review of Journalism surveyed city councillors and found that Levy was "rated lowest among the 18 city hall reporters for accuracy, fairness and knowledge".[4][5] Levy made a reputation as the press gallery’s "most unapologetically conservative chronicler of local politics."[6] She created enemies among some city councillors, whom she goaded with derogatory nicknames.[6]

Levy has won two investigative reporting awards during her time at the Toronto Sun: One for her expose on the homeless industry in 2002 and another for an in depth look at Regent Park in 2012. She was responsible for exposing the high-flying habits of the Pan Am Games brass, a investigative piece which resulted in the firing of CEO Ian Troop. Her focus on issues such as contract-rigging and overspending at Toronto Community Housing resulted in the firing of CEO Greg Spearn in 2017 and in the dismissal of CEO Kathy Milsom in early 2019.

Levy was criticized in October of 2018 for a column --part of a series -- which alleged that immigrants and refugee claimants temporarily residing at the Radisson Hotel Toronto East were slaughtering goats in one of the hotel's public bathrooms.[7][8] This assertion was based on on-line reviews of the hotel posted to TripAdvisor and Expedia, and interviews with clients who posted their reviews on Trip Advisor. [9] Levy's columns were widely circulated online by alt-right commenters on 4chan and Reddit, as well as sites such as Infowars.[9] Two days later, an unknown person engaged in an act of arson but police later confirmed the fire had nothing to do with any media coverage.[10]

Politics[edit]

In 2009, Levy was the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario's by-election candidate in the Toronto riding of St. Paul's, placing second with 28.33% of the vote behind the Liberal victor, Eric Hoskins.

Ontario provincial by-election, September 17, 2009: St. Paul's
Resignation of Michael Bryant
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Eric Hoskins 13,192 47.60 +0.17
Progressive Conservative Sue-Ann Levy 7,851 28.33 +1.79
New Democratic Julian Heller 4,677 16.88 +1.14
Green Chris Chopik 1,515 5.47 -2.87
Libertarian John Kittredge 161 0.58 +0.05
Special Needs Danish Ahmed 95 0.34
Independent Marius Frederick 84 0.30
Freedom Paul McKeever 61 0.22 -0.04
Independent John Turmel 52 0.19
Independent Rajendra Rama 24 0.09
Total valid votes 27,712 100.00
Liberal hold Swing -0.81

Personal life[edit]

Levy is Jewish and an openly gay conservative. She came out publicly in 2007 and married her wife Denise Alexander in 2009.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://torontosun.com/2016/08/02/columnist-sue-ann-levys-book-sure-to-have-sting/wcm/6de1d3bb-5e4a-4eac-8d97-b65cda8b4f1f
  2. ^ http://v1.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20150808.OBJEFFERYLYONS/BDAStory/BDA/deaths/
  3. ^ "Sue-Ann Levy". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 2017-03-19.
  4. ^ Joe Friesen. "Cruella to be kind". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2017-03-19.
  5. ^ a b Shupac, Jodie (2016-08-31). "An interview with Sue-Ann Levy, a right-wing, gay, Jewish muckraker". Canadian Jewish News. Retrieved 2017-03-19.
  6. ^ a b Shea, Courtney (August 23, 2016). "Q&A: Sue-Ann Levy, the Toronto Sun's most notorious columnist, whose new book comes out today". Toronto Life. Retrieved April 2, 2017.
  7. ^ Levy, Sue-Ann (September 29, 2018). "East-end hotel painted as refugee camp". Toronto Sun. Retrieved October 18, 2018.
  8. ^ Levy, Sue-Ann (October 3, 2018). "'Irregular' migrants continue to flock into Toronto". Toronto Sun. Retrieved October 18, 2018. The reputable Tripadvisor [sic] website has been inundated in the past few weeks with scathing reviews of the hotel, calling it a "zoo, filthy, noisy and dangerous" with the lobby full of loitering refugees and halls containing graffiti and garbage.
  9. ^ a b Daro, Ishmael N. (October 11, 2018). "A Fake Online Review Claimed Refugees 'Slaughtered Goats' In A Hotel. This Newspaper Helped It Go Viral". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved October 18, 2018.
  10. ^ https://www.thespec.com/news-story/8963462-tensions-high-after-fire-set-at-toronto-hotel-housing-refugees/