Browse By

Embattled mayor strikes back at critics

WE'RE A 'LAUGHINGSTOCK': Vaughan mayor Linda Jackson says she's finally speaking out about the constant political and legal attacks she claims are making the city a joke in the GTA. In the photo an unidentified van passes behind her as she talks outside her husband's Kleinburg office. Photo by Philip Alves/Vaughan Today

The unrelenting pressure on Mayor Linda Jackson isn’t just distracting her from her job.

“It makes us the biggest laughingstock in the GTA,” she said last week from the boardroom of Campese Marketing and Consultants, husband Mario Campese’s Kleinburg agency. “That’s what really upsets me and this is why I’m finally speaking out.”

Tired of holding her tongue while audit requests, court proceedings and expense challenges bog her down, she said, the time has come to fight fire with fire.

“This small group is creating this illusion of controversy and problems, and there’s nothing,” Jackson said. “When it starts to affect you and you can’t do your job, you’ve got to say this is enough.

“It’s disruptive and it makes people not feel very proud of where they live.”

None of this is new or surprising, Jackson said. Her mother, the late Lorna Jackson, faced much the same early in her tenure as mayor, she said.

“It’s almost like déjà vu all over,” Jackson said. “(This) was really getting bad and I had dinner with my father. My father reached across the table, patted me on the hand and said: ‘Don’t worry. Don’t worry, Linda. They did the same thing to your mother in her very first term, and she kept her head up, kept smiling, kept doing her job, and she was fine.’

“They did exactly the same to her as they’re doing to me in my first term,” the mayor said.

“But just like her, I’m going to be undeterred and I’m just going to keep moving forward.”

Vaughan Today
Online: April 24, 2008 [link]