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Those who wonder why women avoid city politics like the bubonic plague need look no further than the public scourging of Windsor lone female councillor, Jo Anne Gignac, for daring to question a male colleague judgment.

feeling a bit like a pinata, confessed Gignac this week. The 14 year council veteran has faced withering criticism over her motion to have the city integrity commissioner, Bruce Elman, rule on whether Coun. Rino Bortolin violated the council code of conduct in a news story reference to a rape and beating in a downtown alley.

That was mild compared with the social media hammering. The trolls labeled her Cruella de Vil, charged her with conducting a witch hunt at taxpayer expense and accused her of delivering a sleazy low blow in the rape card. Some suggested the issue should have been dealt with behind closed doors, not trotted out for public consumption.

All this because Gignac wanted the air cleared by someone council keeps on retainer for precisely that purpose on how far a councillor can go with the feed my followers online carping that now follows every remotely controversial council decision.

Those of us old enough to recall that vicious daylight rape of a young woman in the Goyeau Street parking garage, a crime that made the structure a female no go zone for many years, know that rape, one of the most incendiary words in the English language, is not something you lob out there to score points.

Like many, I froze, in reading that Oct. 18 story slamming the city funding strategy, when I got to Bortolin lament: I have to continually go back to residents and say there is no money for a $3,000 alley light where that person got beat up and raped last week, it hard. week? Holy crap, I reacted. Where exactly did that happen? Why don we know more? Why are the cops keeping the lid on? This is serious, serious stuff.

Now we told by folks infinitely smarter than us, like University of Windsor political scientist Lydia Miljan that it was obvious Bortolin was not referring to an actual event, but using hyperbole to make a point. was exaggerating for rhetorical effect. But when I see in print I don see hyperbole. I don see rhetoric. I see a shocking crime. I took Bortolin quote literally and so did everyone I spoken with. My kneejerk reaction was to wonder how many more area residents will make a mental note to avoid downtown.

Bortolin online apology, to my eyes, read more like a trial run of his 2018 campaign speech. I have been wiser with my words? Yes. I apologize for the lack of clarity and poor choice of words. That was it, his terse mea culpa, tucked in the middle of a rant about his frustration with council priorities. Bortolin evidently didn spend much time at remorse school.

Gignac is a tough, no nonsense individual with a thick skin. But she was incensed to read the comments by Pat Papadeas, a lawyer, radio host and influential area Liberal, that she has never seen Gignac advocate for women issues in the past.

has a heck of a lot of nerve, fumed Gignac. about walking the walk, not talking the talk, said the school parent council founder who in 1988 became the first female chairperson in the history of the Windsor separate school board while raising two young kids.

don march a lot. My marching days were back in the 1960s, said Gignac. But she believes she been a strong women advocate over the decades and would like to think she a good role model for women contemplating entering politics. I can think of a better one.

Gignac real crime, of course, is that she ran for the Harper Conservatives in 2015 and that makes her Public Enemy No. 1 in the eyes of pretty much everyone on the left here.

Chill. Let the integrity commissioner do his job and hopefully it will bring clarity on the rules of conduct that will benefit all councillors.
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