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Cop basher Olivia Chow

June 20 - July 11, 2000

In the aftermath of the violent anti-poverty riot at Queen's Park, Coun. Olivia Chow was waxing philosophical. 'Revolution breeds confrontation,' she kept repeating aloud. Chow's read on the situation one hour after the protest, according to Toronto Star columnist Royson James.

'City Councillor Olivia Chow, as non-violent as they come, kept repeating those words as the stench of horse manure hung over the now-still air outside Queen's Park,'James wrote.

Media darling Olivia Chow has always loved theatre. As one of the more radical trustees at the Toronto Board of Education, she could always be counted on to incite student unrest, on one occasion providing bullhorns, said to later have been used as weapons during a chaotic student protest.

An unabashed cop basher from day one, Chow along with Marxist -hip hubby Coun. Jack Layton, paved the way for plenty of public theatre by helping to advance fellow activist Susan Eng as former chair of the Toronto police services board.

One hour after the Queen's Park riot, firebrand Chow was described as 'the diminutive councillor (who) whispered' by James. 'This is sad, tragic...People get pushed down so much they feel they have nothing to lose, so they resort to this.'

Put any spin on it you like, but for most law-abiding Ontarians, Olivia, there are no words that justify resorting to Molotov cocktails and blood.

It seems the hypocrisy of the exploitation of the homeless knows no bounds when it comes to politicians and their fellow travellers, the poverty pimps.

Even anti-poverty crusader Liberal MPP Gerard Kennedy, who once headed up the former Daily Bread Food Bank, did not try to justify the violence at Queen's Park on June 15, 2000.

'This is not the face of the poor and homeless. This is the face of a few idiots and the police response,' said Kennedy.

Is there any sincerity in Chow's public image as an advocate for the homeless and the downtrodden? Well, even while single mothers and their children picketed their Jarvis St. Hazelburn Co-op, Chow, her mother and hubby Layton were overhoused in the taxpayer-subsidized, non-profit co-op. The Laytons, whose salaries paid from the public purse even then exceeded $100,000, hung in at Hazelburn until public outrage and media publicity finally drummed them out.

Chow's hypocrisy on the homeless is matched by paid union agitator John Clarke of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP). Last summer, when local police conducted a surprise early morning raid on OCAP, during a mass sleep-in at Allan Gardens, Clarke was AWOL. Leaving comrades to slumber in the overnight damp chill of the park, he had returned home to the luxury of his own bed. TFP's Brian Thompson knows, because he was there to observe the OCAP leader rushing out of his house shortly before six on the overcast morning of Tuesday, August 10. Obviously the recipient of an early morning telephone call, Clarke came streaking out of his Hart Avenue home, jumped into a red Honda parked in the driveway and raced off to Allan Gardens.

It seems now that the smoke from the Queen's Park riot has cleared, Olivia Chow was doing more than whispering words of wisdom to Toronto Star columnists.

'We have received information from our members that Olivia Chow interfered with police activity and overstepped her authority as a member of the police services board,' state the Toronto Police Association in a news release.

'We are asking the Chief of Police to have Olivia Chow investigated for criminal acts, including Breach of Trust, Obstruct Police, as well as breaches under the Police Services Act.'

'Based on the substantive information received, the Board of Directors of the Association demands that Olivia Chow immediately resign from the police services board.'

The hypocrisy of politicians and activists getting publicity on the backs of the homeless is one thing, but Chow's anti-police conduct in connection with the Queen's Park riot is unprecedented. Royson James' 'diminutive' councillor, afterall, is a member of the police services board.

In a city represented by 57 municipal councillors, the most hideous hypocrisy of all is that cop basher Olivia Chow was ever provided a presence on our police services board.

Canada Free Press, CFP Editor Judi McLeod