That Office Better be Glowing

It’s bad enough that some politicians waste taxpayer money on pet projects… but you won’t believe what Coun. Michael Thompson did in his first act in office:

Toronto city hall watchers are raising questions after Coun. Michael Thompson paid a pastor $300 of taxpayers’ money to have his office blessed.

The blessing of Thompson’s office took place on Dec. 7 — the day all new council members were inaugurated…

So instead of getting down to business and just working hard — you know, producing tangible results — Thompson threw cash at a useless, unnecessary superstition.

Which makes this line in his official bio all the more hilarious:

Michael is a leader who knows how to get things done at City Hall.

Right… more like he knows how to delude himself into thinking he’s done something.

He even had the audacity to try and defend himself:

“We all need the extra help,” Thompson told the Sun before the ceremony.

“I’m making decisions that, most people don’t realize, really has great impact on people’s lives,” Thompson said.

“I always seek guidance and assistance, I don’t go to church everyday or anything, but I’m a religious guy and so I think that it is important to have God’s hand at my back or my right-hand side or my left, guiding me to make some of the decisions that we make.”

Hey, readers in Toronto, do you feel the impact of the blessing? Has it helped you?

If Thompson is the best guy voters in Toronto can find for the job, I really want to know who lost. Someone whose platform was to have Jesus descend upon Canada to fix everything?

It must be good to be Rev. Dr. Tai Adeboboye,, getting paid hundreds of dollars for doing absolutely nothing.

(via Canadian Atheist)

  • Alexis

    If he wants to shell out three hundred of his own dollars to a con man, that’s his business. If he wants to shell out three hundred dollars of tax money, that’s a different matter.

  • NewEnglandBob

    I guess elected officials are getting more ignorant daily.

  • Al

    I’m in Toronto and I just heard about this nonsense this morning. We just got a new mayor who promises to cut things left and right. If he doesn’t go after Councillor Thompson, then he will have lost all credibility.

  • Deiloh

    $300 for mumbling to a room? Do gods listen extra hard the more coins drop?

  • http://urbanmennoniteblog.com Ryan

    Wow. Ummm. Wow.

    Yeah, spending his own money on it, sure, no problem. Spending tax-money….

  • Richard Wade

    From the Toronto Sun article:

    The small but significant ceremony has been a tradition for the Scarborough councillor at the beginning for every new term since he was elected back in 2003.

    So he’s been relying on this magic ceremony to help with… what? Good judgment perhaps? Maybe he needs to hire a different shaman.

    One commenter there said that he has apparently paid back the $300. I couldn’t find any source for that assertion. Even if that is so, what about the eight previous magic ceremonies?

  • Steve

    I’m in Toronto and I just heard about this nonsense this morning. We just got a new mayor who promises to cut things left and right. If he doesn’t go after Councillor Thompson, then he will have lost all credibility.

    The mayor had credibility at some point? :-P

    Anyway, he’s also made some pretty obliquely religious statements in the past and actively supported a Pastor which pious anti-gay statements, so I doubt he believes the Gravy Train to pull up to the faith-based spending.

    We’ll see.

  • CanadianNihilist

    … I am more than a little upset by this.

  • JD

    What is that, $10 a minute for a medium to talk to the spirit world? Even if you count 30 minutes of driving each way, and thirty minutes on site, that’s $3.33 a minute.

  • Glenn in Omaha

    You are worrying about nothing. It’s $300 CANADIAN. It’s not like it’s real money or anything.

    Idiocy knows no borders.

  • Suzanne

    Ugh.. we always hear about this kind of thing coming out of the states, but I get extra annoyed when it’s coming out of Canada. There’s still progress to be made!

  • Godless Lawyer

    Glad I’m in Ottawa.

  • Ibis

    With Rob Ford in as mayor, Torontonians *do* need all the help they can get (off to burn some incense and mumble some incantations to Juno).

  • Zoe

    As a Torontonian, I have absolutely no idea what happened in this election that possessed people to vote for the councillor, never mind our current mayor. If we make it until the next election, it’ll be going in my column of slim support for a loving god.

  • Vivian

    Blessed for what? Do taxpayers get a refund if he makes a bad decision? What if he effs up royally? I hope they at least try and keep score and see if it’s worth anything. (Which we know it doesn’t!)

  • Fundie Troll

    Charging money for blessings??? Yet another charlatan masquerading as a servant of God…

    2Corinthians 2:17 Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.

  • Annie

    Damn! I would have done the “blessing” for $200… plus thrown in a lucky rabbit foot, and a magic 8 ball to help with any major decisions down the road. I’m sorry for the Canadians, but relieved that those of us in the US do not have a monopoly on whacked out politicians.

  • SkepticalPete

    Looks like he’ll be reimbursing the city for the blessing. At least in Toronto this kind of thing is still controversial in the right way.

    I’m getting worried about the wave of US-style “conservatives” getting elected here in Canada in recent years. I guess no one’s safe…

    (Hmm, first comment, I think! Hi!)

  • Kaylya

    @Glen in Omaha

    The Canadian dollar is actually worth slightly more than the US dollar right now. On Dec 7, it was very slightly less, such that the cost of the ceremony works out to $297.24 US using that day’s exchange rate. But as of today, it would be $304.75 US.

  • Janice in Toronto

    Yes, he paid back the $300.00. He caught hell from a significant part of the population for his silliness.

    Unfortunately, the newly elected mayor and councillors are of the ‘cut and slash’ variety, so our arts and culture are going to be suffering for a while.

    We have our own brand of incompetent twits running things now, in Ottawa as well as Toronto. Looks like we’re headed for an election very, very soon. The downside is that it’s going to be the same old political parties again, so no matter who wins it’s going to be more of the same.

    On the other hand, it’s far, far better than living south of the border…


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