• Follow us

Travel

George Smitherman promises candour in new book

George Smitherman was never shy about speaking his mind.

Unconventional Candour, written in collaboration with former Toronto Star editor and columnist Ian Urquhart, chronicles his start as the son of a trucker in Etobicoke to a powerful provincial politician to distant second-place finisher in the last City of Toronto municipal campaign.

On the way, there was joy and tragedy, success and scandal.

George Smitherman’s new book, Unconventional Candour. (Antonella Artuso, Toronto Sun)

The book offers some startling revelations about the often controversial politician, including an admission that former Toronto mayor Rob Ford was not the only 2010 mayoral candidate who’d tried crack cocaine, and also that the former Liberal health minister does not blame himself for the eHealth and Ornge Air Ambulance scandals that rocked his government.

The book is written in the first person, perfect for a man who never needed other people’s words put in his mouth:

Early Party Scene: “Quitting anything can be tough and cocaine had a real grip on me. The lowest point came when my cocaine tastes trended from powder to crack … In my experience, the crack-cocaine high is unrivalled in its euphoria … I had many false starts on the path to sobriety aided by professional help, willpower and cardio exercise.”

Historic Win: “I was now at age 35 and in my 20th year in politics as an elected representative, the first ever openly gay member of the Ontario legislature, and as I like to say, only the 200th gay member in history!”

Health Minister Appointment: “I was sworn in as minister of health in the first Liberal government in Ontario for 13 years … It was heady territory for the son of a trucker from Etobicoke with no post-secondary degree and no experience in cabinet.”

Furious George: “To say I was driven was an understatement and sometimes my passion alone wasn’t enough to excuse my excesses. About 20% of the time I went beyond what could be described as just ‘passionate’ and resorted to yelling at staff or just generally.”

eHealth and Ornge: “I stand indirectly accused by the province’s auditor general of wasting $1.64 billion in taxpayers’ money on the two agencies … What the whole episode shows is that if you expose over a billion dollars in spending to a team of accountants with a snarly disposition and a jaundiced way of thinking, you could make anything look like a pile of cow dung.”

Big Brother: “The lowest point in the (2010 mayoral) campaign, aside from losing, involved my very estranged older brother Art who was manipulated into endorsing (Rob) Ford. Naturally the Toronto Sun put Art on its front page … My first instinct was to kick the newspaper box over but I somehow restrained myself.”

Widower: “Sad as it is to say, it was pretty much clear that at some point (Christopher) would take his own life, and we had this conversation very openly in the company of his, and later my, psychiatrist. She reminded us that if a person wishes to die, we are quite powerless to stop it … That same meeting with the psychiatrist was our only real conversation about the underlying trauma that made Christopher’s life so tormented … He had been sexually abused at the hands of a trusted figure in his youth.”

Fatherhood: “The truth is that Christopher’s death revealed to me that without Michael and Kayla I am nothing. Their existence is my sole purpose in life.”

(Source: George Smitherman Unconventional Candour, Dundurn Press)

aartuso@postmedia.com

Read More



Leave A Comment

More News

Top Travel stories

Dewar May 22, 2019 2019-05-22 02:00:08Sue Dewar

WOLSTAT: Green blocks shots like few other shooting 2019-05-22 00:19:43Danny Green has not shot the ball at his usual level in these playoffs, but still managed the best net rating on the Raptors ahead of Tuesday’s

SIMMONS: Raptors step up for Kawhi in enormous 2019-05-22 00:11:14There will be at least one more game in Toronto — maybe more — for the remarkable Kawhi Leonard as a Raptor. And no one is ready for any o

STINSON: Kawhi gets a little help from his 2019-05-22 00:10:37The Toronto Raptors saved their season on Sunday night. On Tuesday night, they saved it again, and in the most unlikely way imaginable. With Kawhi Leo

Raptors coach explains why Serge Ibaka’s minutes were 2019-05-22 00:00:43For a guy who has stood out rather obviously in just about every playoff win on this run, Serge Ibaka was awfully quiet in the Raptors’ Game 3 w

Raptors’ bench comes up big in Game 4 2019-05-21 23:59:58Remember Toronto’s bench? Yeah, that group that was celebrated, even had their own nickname? Well, it has been a while since anyone did much cel

Stroman finally gets some run support as Blue 2019-05-21 23:22:29Ah, run support. It’s a fickle thing. One game, you have it, then the next 10 you don’t. Welcome to Marcus Stroman’s world. Through

Powerless Marlies fall to Checkers in Game 3, 2019-05-21 23:16:18Chris Mueller and the Toronto Marlies, finally, are staring some post-season adversity in the face. The Marlies, after winning their first eight games

Willy’s worlds leave Leafs fans wondering 2019-05-21 22:24:05William Nylander is playing his most engaged hockey of the season, though it will leave part of Leafs Nation enraged. After a two-month contract dispu

Blue Jays GM Atkins on sitting Vladdy: ‘It’s 2019-05-21 22:22:29It wasn’t me. It’s on the manager. We’ll do better next time, maybe. Those were the takeaways from Blue Jays general manager Ross At

LILLEY: Trudeau’s gun ban idea misses the mark 2019-05-21 20:02:44Are the Trudeau Liberals ready to spend more than $100 million to seize the guns of law abiding gun owners? Certainly sounds like it. This past weeken

Toronto plays host to fast-growing world tech conference 2019-05-21 19:59:26A high-profile technology conference is expected to bring 25,000 people from around the world to Toronto. Taking place in Toronto for the first time,

Canada Travel - The

Canada, Chrystia Freeland Hopeful For Ukraine's Actor Turned 2019-05-21 19:15:51OTTAWA — Veteran Ukraine lawmaker Mustafa Jemilev was as worried and surprised as anyone when a comedian who played Ukraine’s president on

HuffPost Canada Splash: May 21, 2019 2019-05-21 18:52:04

Vancouver Most Expensive City to Rent Two-Bedroom Apartment 2019-05-21 18:11:52Related:

Canadian House Price Forecast: What The Next 5 2019-05-21 16:36:20The latest Canadian house price forecast from Moody’s Analytics really has no good news for anyone. If you’re a homeowner hoping to make b

Tessa Virtue And Scott Moir Talk About Their 2019-05-21 15:24:13The Olympic gold medallists say they’re each other’s “biggest fans” — but that doesn’t mean Tessa Virtue and Scott

Managing Different Personality Types on Your Team 2019-05-21 14:42:00The Toyota Camry inspires a drive like no other. Wider stance, sharper design, and intuitively-configured technology injects excitement into each driv

A Model’s Quest to Build Human Capital 2019-05-21 14:41:00The Toyota Camry inspires a drive like no other. Wider stance, sharper design, and intuitively-configured technology injects excitement into each driv

Ontario Will Pay For Audits To Help Municipalities 2019-05-21 14:20:21TORONTO — Premier Doug Ford says the province is willing to pay for large municipalities and school boards to review their budgets in an effort

New Photos Of Prince William And Kate's Kids 2019-05-21 14:18:38It was truly a family affair.On Sunday, the Royal Family released new photos of the Cambridges at the duchess’ Back To Nature garden at the RHS

'Game Of Thrones' Prequel 'The Long Night' Is 2019-05-21 13:50:48The hit TV series is over, but “Game of Thrones” isn’t dead yet. There are several prequels in the works, one of which has already b

Trudeau Touts Canada's Retaliatory Tariffs As Key To 2019-05-21 12:50:25SEPT-ÎLES, Que. — Canada’s retaliatory tariffs on American goods played a key role in restoring free access to the U.S. market for C

Céline Dion Delivers Titantic-Sized Performance On James Corden's 2019-05-21 12:40:11They drove all day to show off Las Vegas the only way Céline Dion and James Corden could ― with much hilarity and much belting out of the

Breaking Travel News

Focus: Why Sustainable Travel is picking up Amongst 2019-05-22 05:01:57The tranquil and uninterrupted beauty of the environment is prompting socially conscious tourists to rethink their travel habits. A movement that has

News: Pardo appointed vice president, operations, at Avani 2019-05-22 04:26:42Javier Pardo reports directly to Robert Kunkler, chief operating officer of Avani-owner Minor Hotels, and is based at the regional office in Bangkok.

News: Virgin Atlantic heads for Mumbai following Jet 2019-05-22 04:10:42Virgin Atlantic is relaunching flights between London Heathrow and Mumbai, India, for the first time in four years. Tickets will go on sale next Tuesd

News: Halford appointed general member at soon-to-open Ozo 2019-05-22 03:54:57Paul Halford joins Onyx with close to 20 years of hospitality industry experience at hotels and resorts in Australia, Vanuatu, Fiji and Thailand, incl

News: Rees to lead Leeds Bradford Airport following 2019-05-22 03:47:22Leeds Bradford Airport has announced the appointment of Hywel Rees to the role of chief executive. Rees is an experienced executive in the airports an

News: Airbus increase range of A220 planes by 2019-05-22 03:41:18Airbus has announced that the A220 family, the newest addition to its single-aisle portfolio, will be offering an increased range starting from early

Focus: Breaking Travel News spotlight on: Ritz-Carlton Ras 2019-05-21 05:04:04From refined Bedouin nature reserves, to private island-inspired luxury retreats, the Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Wadi Desert and Al Hamra Beach o

News: American unveils plans for new terminal at 2019-05-21 04:15:02Dallas Fort Worth International Airport and American Airlines have announced plans to develop a sixth terminal at the airport. The plans call for the

News: Marriott promotes long-stay sector with new campaign 2019-05-21 03:58:32Marriott International has announced its first-ever longer stays category marketing campaign, Room for Possibility. The integrated effort features Res

News: Hyatt Regency Lisbon expected to open in 2019-05-21 03:08:35Hyatt Hotels has entered into a franchise and related agreements with Realtejo - Hotelaria e Turismo to develop the first Hyatt branded hotel in Portu

News: Four Seasons selects Airbus A321LR for new 2019-05-21 02:47:26Airbus’ A321LR is one of the newest aircraft in its ‘neo’ family, and features new engines and wingtip-mounted Sharklets - as well a

News: Jamaica selected to lead UNWTO Regional Commission 2019-05-21 02:45:06Jamaica has been selected to chair the United Nations World Tourism Organisation Regional Commission for the Americas. The Caribbean nation will lead

TORONTO STAR | LIFE | TRAVEL

Exploring the new Statue of Liberty museum 2019-05-17 17:44:20The 26,000-square-foot museum on Liberty Island, which opened to the public on Thursday, is the new home for the statue’s original torch and oth

The World War Two harbour opened up by 2019-05-17 17:44:15More than 100,000 visitors arrive in Antwerp annually on cruise ships. And next year passengers arriving via the stone fortress will see another salut

Tacos, tequila, telenovelas in the Kenyan capital 2019-05-17 16:52:06Although the number of actual Mexicans in Nairobi is small — about 200 people, according to embassy estimates — and they don’t have

Delta will let frequent flyers who stopped because 2019-05-17 16:47:05Delta will now accommodate customers who become a new parent, care for an aging family member or recover from a serious illness and may not be travell

Traversing time and space in Columbus and Colonial 2019-05-17 15:47:03The capital of Ohio, one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States, lives largely in the future tense, while the colonial Virginia city remai

Fredericton floodwaters receding, Dali’s art safe 2019-05-16 23:09:05Beaverbrook Gallery’s collections are out of danger once again, at least until next spring.

Vacation ideas even a teenager will love 2019-05-15 22:36:49Children of all ages can be picky, but adolescents are one tough crowd.

Miami Beach cracks down on illegal short-term rentals 2019-05-15 22:05:02There’s a battle between Airbnb and Miami Beach residents, and travellers are caught in the crossfire.

In Ukraine, go beyond Kiev for culture and 2019-05-12 17:56:38Located on the Dnieper River in north-central Ukraine, Kiev is overflowing with exquisite churches, ancient architecture and plenty of history.

Get a sneak peek of the emerging landscape 2019-05-12 17:51:41Scott Mallwitz, executive creative director of the project, gave rapid-fire sneak peeks of the territory for media members gathered for the 30th anniv

Soaking in the sights and sounds of the 2019-05-12 17:34:48Pittsburgh is a vast Rust Belt city of dozens of colourful neighbourhoods, world-class art museums, three inviting rivers and cuisine worth writing ho

This cruise line rivals Broadway with 134 shows, 2019-05-12 17:23:38Royal Caribbean International’s cruise line directs 134 shows in 50 theatres on 26 ships around the world, including seven Broadway-originating


Disclaimer and Notice:WorldProNews.com is not responsible of these news or any information published on this website.