• Fri
  • Aug 29, 2014
  • Updated: 12:48pm
NewsWorld
CANADA

Backers of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford hit out at challenger Olivia Chow over Hong Kong vote bid

Supporters of the crack-smoking Toronto mayor say non-residents should not be allowed to vote

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 05 April, 2014, 3:07am
UPDATED : Saturday, 05 April, 2014, 5:20am

Supporters of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford have lashed out at his Hong Kong-born challenger Olivia Chow, branding her a traitor and "Chairman Chow" after she urged Torontonians living in the SAR to help unseat him.

The backlash came after Chow said in an interview with the South China Morning Post on Thursday that Hong Kong's numerous Torontonians shared the "sense of shame" that came with having a crack-smoking mayor, and those eligible to vote in October's municipal elections had the chance to help restore pride to Canada's biggest city.

Watch: Hong Kong-born Olivia Chow’s campaign ad

But supporters of the conservative Ford - whose antics have drawn international attention since it was revealed last year that he had been caught on video smoking crack cocaine - cried foul and said Chow's bid for votes in Hong Kong was unethical.

"If you're not filing tax returns as a Canadian resident, then you shouldn't be able to vote in ANY Canadian election. Sounds as if Ms Chow wants our elections to be decided by outsiders who want the benefits of Canadian citizenship without helping pay the costs of same," wrote "Frances" on a blog posting titled, "Chairman Chow asks passports of convenience in the South China Morning Post: Help me defeat Rob Ford".

The posting was accompanied by an image of Chow with a Mao cap photoshopped on her.

The same site carried a comment from "Raymond Hietapakka" who said of Chow: "This banana [yellow on the outside, white on the inside] plays a cheap political race card for votes. What if Bo-Bo [Ford] had said, 'Hey, Vote for Me, 'cause I'm white, jus' like you?'"

The original Post story was shared on Facebook more than 2,600 times by both supporters and opponents of Chow.

Some Twitter users called the left-leaning Chow, 57, a "traitor" and "shameless" for seeking votes from Torontonians living in Hong Kong.

The furore triggered a debate on CBC radio in Toronto on Thursday, with the producers of the Here and Now drive-time show devoting a segment to the question: "Should Canadian citizens who don't actually live here be allowed to vote in our municipal election?"

If you're not filing tax returns, then you shouldn't ... vote in ANY election
Blogger 'Frances'

According to Toronto's election guide, non-resident Canadian citizens are eligible to vote in the October 27 election so long as they or their spouse owns or rents property in the city.

A spokeswoman for the Toronto City Clerk's office said yesterday that non-resident voters in the municipal polls may cast ballots by appointing a proxy who is an eligible resident voter.

Non-resident voters must first make sure they are on the electoral roll in the appropriate district. Unregistered voters must lodge an application, which is available via the Elections Canada website or at the Canadian Consulate General.

Should Canadian citizens who don't actually live here be allowed to vote?
CBC radio talk-show question

Proxy voting forms will then be mailed to eligible voters who contact the Toronto City Clerk's office after September 12.

Non-resident Canadian citizens generally retain the right to vote, so long as they have lived overseas for less than five consecutive years and intend to return to live in Canada. By voting, overseas Canadian citizens do not lose non-resident status.

Chow, the widow of New Democratic Party and opposition leader Jack Layton, emigrated to Canada with her family in 1970.

The Asia Pacific Foundation found there were about 295,000 Canadians in Hong Kong in 2010, most of them returnee migrants. A conservative estimate of the number of current or former Torontonians in Hong Kong would reach 100,000, although it is not clear how many of these are eligible voters.

Share

For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive
 
 

 

38

This article is now closed to comments

judykllee
How is Rob Ford still eligible?
karen.zhou.9
Some of the comments on this board are just plain ignorant. I am a Torontonian. I believe we are going to vote for whoever is the most qualified based on his/her platform. I am Chinese (therefore I am here checking out a Chinese paper) but it does not mean that she represents me. If I were a HK resident currently away from Toronto, I wouldn't go park my vote with another person who looks like me. The Chinese residents here are very diverse in terms of political views as well. Chow represents the far left, more pro-union while Rob Ford, John Tory and Karen Stintz are going to split the centre right. Toronto is not an all white city so a visible-minority mayor is not out of the question. Think of Calgary's Naheed Nenshi.
philpaul
By the same logic, clearly Mark Carney is a Canadian of convenience. Indeed he works for a foreign State (the UK is a foreign State probably after the 1931 Statute of Westminster, and definitely after the Canadian Constitution was repatriated in 1982), so if Olivia Chow is a traitor, an Interpol warrant should be issued for Mark Carney for treason.
emt22@columbia.edu
hillarious; so canada wants foreign money to prop up the real estate market, but does not to give the benefits associated with it.
SeiMaiSei
@philpaul.
OK, $177,499 as Mayor of Toronto might not be all that much more for Ms Chow when compared to $163,700 as an MP (all figures in CDN$ of course). However, let's not forget she gets the pension if she wins or loses for Mayor. She has stated that she will donate the pension to charity if/when she is Mayor.
Of course, due to Jack Layton's unfortuate and untimely death she is no longer Mrs Jack Layton. Therefore, she can no longer live in the residence of the Leader of the Opposition in Ottawa, Stornaway. And it has been noted in the past that Ms Chow is somewhat averse to paying market value for her residence, having been found living in public housing in Toronto with Jack and her mother in the past.
Being Mayor of Toronto means being a bigger fish in a small pond, as opposed to being just another MP. And if she loved Toronto so much, why did she move from being a councillor to an MP, even though she represented a Toronto Riding?
philpaul
There is such a thing called public service. I know, sounds incredibly boring.
philpaul
What a load of nonsense. Not everyone is as obsessed about money as you clearly are. Do you think Jack Layton married someone obsessed about money and lived with her for 23 years?
I can possibly see why she did not want to live in Ottawa. She is from Toronto, her husband is dead, being in Ottawa reminds her of her husband, and she loves Toronto.
SeiMaiSei
The naivety is overwhelming!
As to being obsessed about money, well I would like to think I am obsessed about politicians who seek to tell the rest of us just how wonderful they are.
Anyway, no doubt you'll be able to meet Ms Chow when she visits Hong Kong, if she becomes Mayor, to tell you all how to run your city. Of course, the Toronto tax payers will be getting the bill for any such trip or trips.
philpaul
I think for Olivia Chow to have resigned her position as federal MP in Ottawa to run for the mayoralty in Toronto says a lot about her love of Toronto. People normally aspire to higher office not local office.
All overseas Australians have to vote, whether or not they pay Australian tax; I do not see how Torontonians in Hong Kong should not be able to vote.
johnfra
This "Raymond Hietafukka" should be prosecuted for using racist taunt like "banana" in describing Ms Chow.

Pages

 
 
 
 
 

Login

SCMP.com Account

or