Hussen responds

One of Ahmed Hussen’s campaign officers has responded to my questions about why he did not attend the community-group-organized debate this week.

Ahmed didn’t attend the debate last night for a number of reasons, chief among them being canvassing, scheduling, and the fact that he has committed to two other debates – a Rogers TV debate being taped on Wednesday and the West Coalition on Housing and Homelessness Debate on October


The organizers had asked him more than three weeks in advance if he would be able to make it, and the event lasted 3 hours. They say that they were “appalled” at his “cheery” decline 12 days before the debate.

Fanny Sunshine from InsideToronto was able to get some more answers from the candidate and his party (and the article is worth reading in full): he told her that he sees many people when he is out going door to door.

Sunshine was also able to get a response from the Conservatives, who never talk to me.

When reached by The Mirror the next day, Robinson’s campaign manager Ansford Pearson said he could not say why the political hopeful did not reply to the invitation or attend the debate.

“It’s the responsibility of the candidate to respond, not mine,” he said.

What an operation. On to other news.


Upcoming candidates’ meeting / debate

The public will have a a couple chances to see York South-Weston federal election hopefuls over the next few days. Today, Saturday, candidates will answer questions posed to them at St Bernard de Clairvaux Catholic church at 1789 Lawrence Avenue West. A ‘meet and greet’ with the candidates will follow. Start time is 6:00 pm.

On Monday, September 28, candidates will debate at the York Civic Centre in council chambers. All candidates are expected to be coming with the meet and greet beginning at 6:15 and the debate proper will get under way at 7:00. WestonWeb will be taping this for those unable to attend.

Conservative candidate had a very unusual education

James Robinson, the Conservative candidate for York South—Weston refers to himself as “Bishop Dr James Robinson“. These are lofty titles, but Robinson’s accomplishments are rather more pedantic. He seems to have at least one very odd degree, and his remaining education is questionable.

Bishop Dr Robinson’s LinkedIn profile says he received his master’s degree from the Missionary Chapel and Seminary. A website called that sells master’s degrees (as well as high school diplomas, doctorates, minister’s licenses) for $30. Attractive, wall-mountable Bishop ‘licenses’ are also available. Robinson’s profile does not say how he became a bishop.

Robinson’s doctorate is honourary, and was awarded, not earned, by an online-only school—the same school that gave him his undergraduate degree, Canon University. It is considered gauche to refer to oneself as “doctor”, as Robinson does, when one has an honourary degree, even a degree from an excellent university.

Canon does not appear, however, to be an excellent university.

It does not seem to be accredited (I checked the regional, state and federal registrars), and although the school website says it is accredited by “The Board of Independent Colleges and Universities (SBICU)”, I cannot find that organization online.

Canon has a very sparse website that says “All degrees from Canon University, will be of an ecclesiastical nature… and are not designed to be used in general academic circles.”

It is unclear how many faculty members work at Canon University; I can’t find any listed, and the school has not returned my emails. The school was founded in 2005 by Lebert Malahoo, and three members of his family were listed as directors or officers of the company. Malahoo also runs an online chaplaincy organization that sells online courses, wallets, and certificates, and gives referral bonuses to members. It gets horrible reviews.

I have tried to be in touch with James Robinson, but he has not been answering my emails. The Conservative riding association has not been very helpful either. This is not unusual. The Conservatives do not campaign much in York South–Weston, a riding they cannot win.

Conservatives nominate forehead

The  Conservative Party of Canada has put James Robinson forward as its next candidate in York South—Weston. It seems that the party has abandoned any pretense that they might actually win.

If the candidate’s website is to be believed,

Whether fighting for the disenfrachised [sic] or mentoring our leaders of tomorrow, James Robinson is the right choice for York South-[sic]Weston …. James is a long time [sic] advocate for all the people of York South-Weston, tirelessly working for all citizens no matter what concerns them or what effects [sic] York South-Weston. James has worked intensely with youth and has counseled [sic] many residents on a broad range of subjects and problems, always treating people with the respect they deserve.



The party cannot, it seems, afford a copy editor (to advocate for longer time is an unusual position even for the PCs, and, really, could they not put forward someone who can spell the name of the riding right? It’s an em-dash, not two hyphens, and certainly not one). Nor is a photographer or web designer within reach—the most prominent part of the page is a photograph of of the candidate’s forehead.

Your humble correspondent has not heard of Robinson, perhaps because Robinson lives in Whitby. I’m not saying that the bit about him being a local advocate is untrue—I have no parliamentary privilege, after all—but I will say that I’ve been paying pretty close attention riding news for close to five years, and we’ve not yet crossed paths.

Modi2?The riding association also posted some pictures of him that said he was at a meeting Indian Prime Minister Modi, the effect of which was to show just how far Robinson was from actually meeting him. There are lots of pictures of hands, crowds, and people who are emphatically not Modi.

YHC is not pleased. I am allergic to every political party, and the Conservatives give me anaphylaxis. But I am doubly displeased by lame-Modiduck, half-assed efforts. The Conservative candidate in the last election did not even campaign. The sum of her efforts was to put a sign on an abandoned house on Weston Road. She did not even collect the sign, and it remains.

This does us all a disservice. It wastes time, and money, and votes. But those are nearly irrelevant compared to the true cost: accountability. Conservatives are not (always) fools, so when they do not mount a credible candidate we all lose the chance to hear our aspiring leaders held to account from the perspective of the right.

Should you wish to meet the aspirant in person, James Robinson will be having a meet and greet on April 24 at 30 Gordon MacKay Rd. He will address the audience at 8 pm.