Readers were divided on Dan Lett's column about Gord Steeves addressing the media regarding racist comments his wife made on Facebook four years ago.
I am bewildered by Steeves' strange timidity and uncertainty. He has been in government before, so it can't be inexperience.
Perhaps he just wants his name out there to be chosen as a candidate for the Conservatives in the upcoming federal election. He is not acting like a man who wants to be mayor.
I thought I had seen the worst of this debacle until I read this article -- are you kidding me? Unreal! What did you want him to do, drop to his knees and beg for forgiveness? Bring his wife out into public for stoning?
He dealt with it professionally and calmly, like you would hope a candidate would do. Just because the media and others wanted him to deal with the issue immediately, doesn't mean he has to drop everything and bow to your opinions and demands. If the news conference was any indication of what he would be dealing with if he met with the communities that were offended by his wife's comments, I don't blame him. He's been threatened and heckled, and if I was his wife I'd be concerned for my safety more now than I was four years ago.
The issue is Steeves' mishandling of the entire episode. Instead of getting in front of it, he let it fester for four days before addressing it. If that's an indication of how he will run the mayor's office, then not only can we do better, we must do better. He should withdraw.
Throughout this absolutely absurd coverage of this non-issue, nobody has put forward any rationale as to why Gord Steeves should even have to speak to something his wife typed four years ago.
Is there some sort of weird requirement that all seeking elected office must have spouses with the same opinions on everything that may be controversial?
I would also like to know what the big hurry was. After the media got hold of this comment and began beating up on Lorrie Steeves, Gord Steeves did what he needed to do: he took care of his family. That should be everyone's first priority.
He needed to be seen showing empathy, compassion and concern for those his wife's comments were directed to. He did none of those things.
He took five days to respond when he should have been on top of it immediately, attempted to hold a secretive press conference and during that conference looked like there were a million places he'd rather be than humbling himself and making it right.
Steeves is probably the last candidate I'd vote for, for a plethora of reasons. But even I concede that this whole issue is a non-story.
It's an issue about someone other than Gord Steeves having an unpleasant encounter with someone where she felt threatened and then vented about it on Facebook in impolite terms. Hardly a statement about Steeves.