THE DEMOCRATIC REPORTER
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Opening comments: More at the end.
This contest has all the marks of a rigged contest or one controlled by Hazel McCallion supporters. Just another way to promote her name.
Is Hazel the 'Greatest Living Torontonian?
NO - I know what & who she is.
National Post, Tuesday, November 22, 2005 - By Melissa Leong
Greatest Torontonian contest down to 5
Voting deadline Thursday
A legendary entrepreneur, a football hero, a comedian and two politicians are vying for the title of the GTA's greatest living Torontonian.
More than 10,000 people have weighed in on who they believe has built the city into what it is today.
The contest, run by Global News, is down to its top five. The final contenders are Mike Myers, Hazel McCallion, Stephen Lewis, Mike "Pinball" Clemons and "Honest" Ed Mirvish.
"All these people make up the character of Toronto," said Global News reporter Antony Robart, who is co-ordinating the contest.
The deadline to vote is Thursday. Global News will announce the winner the next day. To vote, visit globaltv.com/ontario.
The final five were whittled down from a list of 15 candidates that included author Margaret Atwood, media mogul Ted Rogers and hockey superstar Doug Gilmour. Journalist and activist June Callwood and Hollywood actor Jim Carrey made it to the final 10 before being cut.
"It's a great way of showing [Torontonians] who has contributed a great deal to this place," Mr. Robart said.
The most contentious candidate has been Mayor McCallion, who some voters note is from outside of Toronto.
"I believe people voted for her because of what she has done for the whole of the GTA," he said. "It's difficult to talk about the growth of Toronto without talking about the growth of Mississauga."
Last week, Global News ran segments profiling the five potential winners:
- MIKE "PINBALL" CLEMONS
Mr. Clemons is president and head coach of the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League. He played for the Argos for 12 seasons. He set 12 all-team records and is the world-record holder for most career all-purpose years by a professional football player.
Born and raised in Florida, Mr. Clemons has called Oakville home for years. He has been recognized by many groups for his work with charities, schools, churches and community organizations.
- STEPHEN LEWIS
The Canadian politician, broadcaster and diplomat works for the United Nations as the Secretary-General's Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa. A former Canadian ambassador to the United Nations, Mr. Lewis is also head of the Stephen Lewis Foundation, a charitable organization that helps victims of HIV/AIDS in Africa. He served as leader of the Ontario New Democratic Party from 1970 to 1977.
- HAZEL McCALLION
She is one of Canada's best-known and longest-serving mayors. She was elected Mayor of Mississauga in 1978. In 1991, she opened up the city's books and submitted its annual operating budget to residents for their input and scrutiny, being the first mayor of a major municipality to do so.
- "HONEST" ED MIRVISH
The flamboyant entrepreneur has called Toronto home since he was nine years old. Mr. Mirvish has been a fixture in Toronto with his theatres, Mirvish Village, restaurants and Honest Ed's Discount Department Store for almost 60 years. Now, at the age of 91, Mr. Mirvish continues to donate to many local charities.
- MIKE MYERS
Toronto's ambassador of comedy was born in Scarborough in 1963. A former child actor and member of the Second City comedy troupe, Mr. Myers joined the cast of Saturday Night Live in 1988. After six seasons, he left the show and has starred in such movies as Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery and Shrek. Many fans see him as a tireless supporter of both Toronto and of his beloved Toronto Maple Leafs.
"It's hard to think of another public figure ex-pat who is as proud and vocal of his roots than Myers," Mr. Robart said. "That especially shone through during the SARS crisis, when he appeared on many shows promoting Toronto."
© National Post 2005
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