This article for TVO’s website explores the 1980 Toronto municipal election, which was one of the ugliest in the city’s history thanks to controversies surrounding LGBTQ issues, including the strong possibility that an openly gay candidate (George Hislop) could have been elected to city council. It also looks at how veteran backroom fixers wanted to see incumbent mayor John Sewell leave office.
The article examines how homophobia influenced this particular election in both the mayoral and council races, concerns about the influence of LGBTQ issues in school boards, as well as discussing issues related to police actions during political campaigns – issues that in many ways we are still working out today in society.
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About the Author:
Jamie Bradburn is a Toronto-based writer/researcher specializing in historical and contemporary civic matters.