More from Sue-Ann Levy
May 29, 2018
May 29, 2018 10:40 PM EDT
Toronto–St. Paul's NDP candidate Jill Andrew
She’s a self-described black, queer, “fat” activist who posted in a 2016 social media post that she was giving Toronto’s black police chief the “coon award.”
She also claimed in a September 2016 article in IN magazine (celebrating Canada’s LGBT lifestyle) that she’s motivated by the “fat activists” from Black Lives Matter Toronto who “brought forward the conversations “so many” like her have had “quietly and anonymously” in their kitchens for decades.
“It provides hope to think of the future of Canada with activists like these in our midst,” she said in that article.
Meet Jill Andrew who is running for the NDP in my home riding of St. Paul’s — and the latest to join the rogue’s gallery of controversial NDP candidates with divisive views.
Andrew’s scandalous slur came in response to a letter Chief Mark Saunders e-mailed to front-line cops the same week in 2016 that BLM staged a sit-in at the Gay Pride parade and a tragic ambush by a lone gunman in Dallas, Texas left five officers dead and nine others injured.
In that letter, the chief expressed his concern for the safety of TPS officers — asking them to continue to “take all necessary precautions.”
In the aftermath of the Pride parade sit-in, he also indicated his concerns with people in the city “who want to drive a wedge between the TPS and the LGBTQ communities” — stating that attacks on the TPS have come “predictably” from those people and are “inaccurate, irresponsible and inflammatory.”
He did not specifically name BLM-Toronto.
In her July 8, 2016 Facebook post Andrew — after stating that Saunders deserved the “coon award” — questioned “who the hell” those people were and seemed to resent the fact that the chief urged his officers to take “necessary precautions.
“I like many are afraid to go to sleep in fear of another death tomorrow,” she posted, adding that now she must “PERSONALLY” worry that those deaths might involve a friend, neighbour or one of her students.
Andrew did not respond to several messages left with her campaign office for comment. I also tried to reach NDP spokesmen Andrew Schwab, Mike McKinnon and Rebecca Elming, all of whom did not reply by e-mail or phone.
Reached Tuesday, Toronto Police spokesman Meaghen Gray contended that Saunders had “nothing to say” in response to the slur.
Besides her black, queer activism, Andrew — a contract lecturer in the Ryerson School of Fashion and a self-described award-winning writer, speaker, equity educator and scholar — devotes her time to fat justice and activism against “sizeism.”
Through their organization Body Confidence Canada and FatintheCity.com blog, Andrew and her partner, Aisha Fairclough — a TV producer, body image advocate and diversity consultant — say their goal is to add the categories of “size and appearance” as protected grounds in the human rights codes across Canada and the Canadian Human Rights Act.
“EveryBODY has the right to thrive without fear of being bullied,” they write on their website. “Ending size and appearance discrimination means ending one of the last socially-acceptable forms of bigotry … Body rights are human rights!”
Toronto city councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam, left, canvassing for Toronto-St. Paul’s NDP candidate Jill Andrew, second from left. Facebook photo
In her Ryerson bio, Andrew is described as having a master’s degree in Women and Gender Studies from the University of Toronto and as working on PhD research focusing on women’s body stories — especially those of black women “who identify as fat” living in Toronto.
“Andrew is interested in how some Black women have re/fashioned their intersectional identities across different times and spaces in their lives,” the bio states.
In the September 2016 IN magazine article, Andrew contends that she’s seeing more of an “intersectional approach to addressing body activism” and that body shaming is not a white, heterosexual, college-educated women’s issue–the latter a myth which “informs” funding decisions.
LEVY: NDP candidate targeted police chief with racial slur | Toronto Sun