Toronto’s Ward 37 (Scarborough Centre) Councillor Michael Thompson is almost always opposed to Mayor David Miller on economic policy and administration. That fact alone need not be a recommendation. Let Thompson explain.
"I am dramatically different in my approach. Miller takes a tax-and-spend approach whereas I believe government should listen to the people and then manage on their behalf," said Thompson. He adds, "Politicians don't build wealth. People do."
Thompson supported former Councillor and mayoral candidate Jane Pitfield in her run for mayor and her economic policies.
"I agreed with Councillor Jane Pitfield's views on zero base budgeting (which means that every year a department's budget is wiped clean and they have to justify their expenditures and objectives)," said Thompson.
"I became fascinated with politics when I was thirteen years old, I see it as an opportunity to help people" said Thompson, who after graduating from college entered the finance sector. Before he ran for office, he worked for Councillor Lorenzo Berardinetti (now the Liberal member of provincial parliament for Scarborough Southwest). Four years ago, at the age of forty-four, Thompson ran for city council, and won.
"Michael Thompson had so many election signs [placed in public view] during the last election that people were asking for them and then had to wait," said Josie, a retired real estate agent and devoted campaign worker. Usually, the candidate or her/his representatives canvass a neigbourhood, looking for willingness to publicly show support, but in Thompson’s case, the community chose to demonstrate backing, unasked.
Many of Thompson’s constituents have his cell phone number, the councillor believes in accessibility.
Among Michael Thompson’s concerns are crime and homelessness. A few years ago, after a number of young black people were shot by young black people, Thompson made the comment that police should be able to stop any young black person in high crime areas. Despite the fact that Thompson himself is black, the uproar created by those that believe in political correctness was deafening. Only those that were raising youth in high-risk areas quietly agreed with him.
Thompson is constantly being asked to run for mayor. Thompson told this paper, "Not yet, I have only been a councillor for one term," said Thompson. With him receiving the highest plurality in the last municipal election, it is something for both Thompson and the voter to consider.
Councillor Michael Thompson, a quiet realist (1)