Mar 11, 2013
By Jane Brown
Statement from Sarah Thomson, March 10, 2013
Early Friday morning, I posted a photo to my Facebook and reported that Mayor Rob Ford made suggestive comments and groped me at a CJPAC party.
Since then, the Mayor, his supporters and conservative media agencies have denied my
claims, impugned my character and attacked my credibility.
I did not make these accusations lightly. I admit I did not handle the press perfectly, but I had just
gone through a very rattling experience.
Over the past few days people have accused me of hating the Mayor and this I must repeat is not the case. I have always found him to be respectful, somewhat shy, but professional. While things have been
competitive between us, I have always appreciated his stand on the need for subway expansion.
I am not the kind of woman who sees chauvinism everywhere or believes in reckless denunciations. But Mayor Ford was behaving inappropriately, and there was clearly something wrong with him during the CJPAC event.
He must be discouraged from over indulging to the point where he is groping or making lewd comments, and women should not put up with it when it happens. The Mayor was outrageous, he acted horribly, and I won’t be intimidated by the whitewashing he has tried so hard to generate.
Decades ago powerful men who sexually assaulted women would call them “hysterical,” or “crazy” to debase their credibility. It pushed many assaulted women into silence. Today Mayor Ford stated that he
wondered if I was “playing with a full deck” try to discredit me. He will not push me into silence and I hope his accusations do not re-ignite the old fears that once silenced women.
We need an ongoing dialogue to ensure respect for women in the workplace and to create an inclusive and safe society for all.
Unlike the Mayor, I do not have a history of lying about my behaviour. Mayor Ford has lied publicly numerous times. He denied the drunken incident where he verbally assaulted a Durham couple during a hockey game but later admitted to it. And During 2010 civic election campaign he denied being arrested for pot possession in Florida and then admitted it and another DUI charge.
The Mayor has a history of denial but usually owns up to his mistakes once the facts become overwhelming and I expect that he will eventually own up to this one.
CEO & Publisher > Women’s Post Media
Chair > The Transit Alliance
former Mayoral Candidate 2010
Great cities build great subways!