Wong-Tam told to 'Get AIDS and die' in hate-filled letter from 'Ford Nation supporter'
Coun. Kristyn Wong-Tam is seen above in this June, 2014 photo. (Joshua Freeman/ CP24)
Codi Wilson, CP24.com
Published Wednesday, September 24, 2014 5:30PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, September 24, 2014 5:40PM EDT
Toronto city councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam says police have been sent a copy of an anonymous, hate-filled letter she recently received from a person claiming to "support Ford Nation."
On Tuesday night, Wong-Tam tweeted out a photo of the note with a caption that read, “Another letter from Ford Nation finds its way to me at City Hall.”
The author of the letter, which was littered with racial and homophobic slurs, said they hoped Wong-Tam, the only openly gay member of council, would "get AIDS and die in public office."
"I can tell you that it is not the first letter I have received," she said, adding that this one, however, took on a very personal and threatening tone.
"The language contained in that letter is very painful."
Wong-Tam said she decided to tweet a photo of the letter to remind people that these attitudes still exists.
"I recognize that you can sit quiet and pretend that a problem doesn’t exist," she said.
"What I don’t want to do is leave it unchallenged."
Wong-Tam said despite the fact that she still faces discrimination because of her sexual orientation and ethnicity, she believes the vast majority of Torontonians, and Canadians, are very inclusive.
"I don’t believe this represents the values of Toronto," she said.
When asked about the letter Wednesday morning, Jeff Silverstein, the communications director for Doug Ford's campaign, told CP24.com that he had not seen it and that the campaign typically does not comment on this type of thing.
Olivia Chow, who referred to the letter as "disgusting" in a tweet Wednesday, spoke out about the racial discrimination she has recently faced, including an incident at Tuesday night’s mayoral debate.
The debate, which was held at York Memorial Collegiate Institute, got off to ugly start when one unruly attendee, believed to be a Ford supporter, was escorted out by Toronto police for shouting things while candidates attempted to answer questions.
“Last night when there were racist comments being shouted out about whether I am Canadian or not. For heaven’s sake, I’ve been in Canada since I was 13,” Chow told CP24 Wednesday afternoon.
“I’ve been a member of Parliament representing Canada. So it is just really unfortunate.”
Chow said that Toronto prides itself on its diversity and said “hateful comments have no place” in the city.
“It is time that we have a mayor that represents everyone,” Chow said.
John Tory also weighed in on the debate incident while speaking to reporters Wednesday afternoon.
“I just think that any slur issued by anybody in this city of that kind is unacceptable. It is not the way we live here,” Tory said.
“I think the mayor’s job is to make sure you speak up when those kinds of things happen and say it is unacceptable.”
At a news conference at Doug Ford's campaign headquarters late Wednesday afternoon, the mayoral candidate was quick to condemn the discriminatory remarks that were made at Tuesday night's debate.
"I want to make it very, very clear. I don’t condone that whatsoever. I don’t know who it was but if they want to talk that way they aren’t part of this campaign," he said.
"It is very simple."