We are writing you to assure you that there is no truth whatsoever to anything of substance contained in that e-mail.
This e-mail originated from an extremist blogger who has long been active in supporting Rob Ford's campaign. Since earlier this year this individual has thrown just about every accusation one can imagine at George and his supporters, including disparaging – and frankly disgusting – remarks about George's sexual orientation including a recent posting that asked: "Would it be terribly wrong of me to hope that George Smitherman gets AIDS?"
His latest blog entry claims George Smitherman 'boasted' of an 'endorsement' by the Canadian Arab Federation, and that George refused to speak out against the Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QuAIA) protest group.
Both allegations are completely false and have been referred by the campaign to legal counsel.
The truth is the Canadian Arab Federation has not endorsed a candidate for mayor.
The only reference we could find to the CAF stating an opinion about Toronto's municipal election, were online comments from Ali Mallah, a CAF Vice-President, saying nice things about Joe Pantalone, disparaging things about Rob Ford's views on immigration and other character issues but answered "none of the above" when asked who he thought deserved to be mayor.
With no actual endorsement to back his anti-Smitherman smears, the author instead tries to distort a report card released on October 4th by the Colour of Poverty Campaign-Colour of Change Network (COP/C) grading Toronto mayoral candidates on issues that align with its priorities, including the expansion of affordable housing, support for employment equity programs and access to city programs and services for racial minorities. COP/C is an umbrella organization representing 13 groups including the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants, Chinese Canadian National Council - Toronto Chapter, the African Canadian Legal Clinic, the Council of Agencies Serving South Asians, Midaynta Community Services, the Access Alliance Multicultural Health & Community Services and the Canadian Arab Federation.
COP/C gave George Smitherman a B+ and Rob Ford an F (for failing to meet with the group). There was no endorsement offered by the umbrella organization.
They explained that George received a slightly higher grade than Joe Pantalone because his employment equity platform is more comprehensive.
On the issue of George Smitherman's position on Israel, QuAIA and the treatment of newcomers, no candidate has been as outspoken as George.
George Smitherman believes in the right of an independent Israel as the state for the Jewish people to live in peace and security with its Arab neighbours. Any indication to the contrary is spurious and it is wrong.
When QuAIA again insisted on politicizing this year's Pride Parade by using the parade to demonize Israel, George Smitherman spoke out, telling the Toronto Sun's Sue-Ann Levy: "We know what this group is going to say, they said it last year. It's time for the Pride committee to act, prevent their participation and in so doing protect this amazing institution that celebrates tolerance, that many have laboured to create." (April 28, 2010).
As a gay man, George understands better than anybody that Israel is the only country in the Middle East where gay rights are protected by law. To show his support, George instructed his supporters to march in support of Kulanu, the Jewish Gay Pride group.
George's team was the largest delegation of all the mayoral candidates.
When Rob Ford repeated his intention to make Toronto a refugee-free zone, George spoke out again, noting it was Canada's policy of "none is too many" and turning away the St. Louis that cost many Jewish refugees their lives in the lead up to and during the Second World War.
He has supported institutions important to the community including Mt. Sinai hospital during his time as Health Minister. For all of these reasons, George Smitherman has attracted hundreds of Jewish supporters to his campaign. We appreciate his ongoing care and outspokenness on issues of concern to Jewish voters.
We also support his championing of Toronto's motto: "Diversity Our Strength."
With about a week to go before Election Day on October 25th, we expect to see more vitriol and outright lies being circulated about George. This is the worst kind of politics, but we thought it was important you knew the truth about George. For more information about George and his ideas to build on Toronto's strengths, We encourage you to visit his website: