Conservatives acted where Tony Genco refused

Tony Genco is the Liberal by-election candidate in Vaughan. He was appointed CEO of Downsview Park in a patronage spree by Paul Martin’s government in 2005:

Jack Aubry’s May 28, 2005 piece:

OTTAWA – With a snap election hanging over their heads, the Martin cabinet quietly oversaw a patronage spree during the last month as it neared a too-close-to-call vote in the House of Commons that threatened its hold on power.

The Liberal government hurriedly approved about 450 orders-in-council starting around the time in April when Prime Minister Paul Martin prepared to address the nation in a televised broadcast to plead his case for a delay in holding a federal election.

In the flurry of orders, Martin approved such patronage appointments for Liberal supporters Robert Fung, Hope Sealy, Tony Genco, Margaret Weir, Jean-Louis Hamel, Guy Saint-Pierre, Peter Clark, and the well-connected Marcel Aubut.

Genco landed the Downsview park gig.

One issue that challenged Genco when he was CEO comes to us via Rabble.ca,

After hearing complaints from the LGBT community about the controversial performer’s violently anti-gay lyrics (sample: “Queers must be killed!” “Give me the Tec-9/Shoot dem like bird”), Parc Downsview Park CEO Tony Genco has refused to pull dancehall act Elephant Man from an upcoming show scheduled for this Sunday Oct 10 at the federal park.

This is Elephant Man’s (real name O’Neil Bryan) second scheduled performance in the Toronto area this year. Back in August, he was scheduled to perform at Circa nightclub in downtown Toronto but the club decided to drop him from the concert after club officials received complaints and were informed of his homophobic lyrics. Word of the show had spread to the LGBT community via Twitter and Facebook and only hours after announcing the show, Circa sent this tweet: “Circa stands for peace, love and equality. Elephant Man has been removed from the Celebrity Ball.”

Now, over a week after receiving complaints and being fully briefed about some of his lyrics (eg. “Log on and step pon chi chi man/Log on and step on a queer man”), PDP CEO Tony Genco refuses to pull Elephant Man from the show at the federal venue even after a privately-owned club decided weeks ago — in the spirit of “peace, love and equality” — he should not perform on their stage.

So, what happened? John Baird, the federal minister in charge of Downsview Park was alerted to the controversy by Olivia Chow. The article continues,

[UPDATE]: An official release is expected from Parc Downsview Park but a spokesperson has confirmed that Elephant Man has been pulled from the show, saying “we have been directed by Ottawa to pull Elephant Man.” Earlier today after this article was posted to twitter and spread by dozens of users, MP Olivia Chow also shared it with her followers – adding: “Protest now & copy to Minister Baird #cdnpoli” (#cdnpoli is a popular Twitter hashtag amongst political tweeters). Her tweet with the link to this page found its way to Minister Baird and soon after the announcement was made by the Park that Elephant Man had been pulled. Later, Chow tweet: “From Downsview Park: directed by Ottawa to pull Elephant Man. Min Baird listened.”

Comments

comments

  • Ted

    Hey, Stephen, you are a man in the know so maybe you can help me out.

    I’m interested in hearing from the candidates, but it doesn’t seem that Fantino thinks the voters of Vaughan are worthy enough of him. I can’t find any reference to him either having attended or planning to attend any public debate, interview, meeting, Q&A, open forum, etc. He is certainly avoiding almost all media and even radio.

    And there are tons of things I and a lot of people from Vaughan would like to know, including the incredibly shocking and damning report by the arbitrator and how Fantino completely railroad and smeared and libelled a whole bunch of good cops, the opposition Fantino has shown to basic rights of citizens and selective applied justice in Caledonia, his “for it before I was against it to get the nomination” stance on the long gun registry, and many other things. Not to mention where he stands on a number of official Conservative Party positions.

    What is he so afraid of? I would have thought a guy like Fantino wouldn’t such a fraidy cat. We’ve come to expect it of Harper, this great disdain for the ordinary folk and our concerns and priorities, but it is kind of surprising from a guy who is known to be outspoken, opinionated and trying to gain the trust of voters in Vaughan.

    What are he and Harper afraid of? Why do they think they are so important that they can’t take questions directly from the public?

  • Liz J

    Not good on Genco. If you have to be forced to do the right thing how can you expect people to vote for you?

  • Bec

    This is not good, not good at all. However, this type of stupidity is everywhere.

    Unfortunately I was privy to a VP of a MAJOR company touring offices and after he spotted a symbolic ‘rainbow’ on an associates desk, demanded it be removed. Except the loser wouldn’t do the task himself and when finding out it hadn’t been done, well guess what happened?
    Idiots are idiots and there is no changing them but when they have the power to do the right thing or turn the other cheek and be bold, they don’t and continuously get away with it.

    I’d say THIS is an example of that!

  • Enkidu2

    Just because you don’t like what someone has to say it’s OK to suppress their right to free speech? What, so now we have the True North Strong and Muzzled? Can’t you disagree with a person without going all fascist on them?

    I take it you agree with the assholes who shut down Bibi Netanyahu’s speech, or Christie Blatchford’s. For the record, I don’t.

  • http://www.stephentaylor.ca Stephen Taylor

    Have you really discerned my opinion from the articles I’ve copy/pasted here?

  • Bec

    I never sensed an opinion one way or another from Stephen, simply the details but to be clear on your position, does free speech include ‘hate speech’?

    Those lyrics are threatening ” “Queers must be killed!” “Give me the Tec-9/Shoot dem like bird”)” and further into the quotes, ““Log on and step pon chi chi man/Log on and step on a queer man”.

    If you, as a free speech advocate also agrees with threatening, homophobic hate speech, I’m not sure comparing THIS mess to Bibi Netanyahu or Christie Blatchford meets the smell test.
    Speaking freely is NOT the same as looking for assassins.

  • Del Belaire

    I too am anxious to hear Mr. Fantino explain lots of things.

  • Anonymous

    Neither governing party looks good from the perspective of patronage. And since Harper has apparently grown comfortable with pulling the same levers that he criticizes the Liberals for using, this isn’t likely to change anytime soon. Score that a draw.

    Also, sure he’s from Ontario, but is Fantino really any less of a parachute candidate than Ignatieff was?

    It would be nice, as Ted suggests, if the by-election candidates themselves could fight it out, in person, in front of the voters of Vaughn, instead of the campaign being being waged by proxy in the press. That includes blogs.