There is a certain kind of pervasive Canadian malaise on the rise, which I’m sure can’t be exclusive to the Province of Ontario.  Perhaps the malaise of which I write is only most apparent here in the industrial heartland of our nation where the animals are now running the zoo.

What does it say about the values of Ontario voters, when we elected to provincial office raging feminist MPPs, such as Anne Swarbrick, who in zip time became cabinet ministers, ready to scream to the press when one of their male confreres poses – fully clothed – in a daily newspaper as a “Sunshine Boy”?  The day Consumer Minister Peter Kormos’ picture ran in the Toronto Sun just happened to coincide with the announcement of the NDP’s hypocritical crackdown on so-called sexist beer ads.

There has been a deafening silence from Swarbrick and her hysterical sisters about Kormos’ much more infamous claim to fame – not only did he sell pornography to pay his way through law school, but he gleefully bragged about it!

One would think that a criminal record for obstructing police, neglecting to file income tax returns for himself and his employees, and a gleeful boast he’d sold pornography to finance his education would keep anyone from election to public office.

But Kormos, says Toronto Sun writer Ian Harvey, “wears his background like a badge of honour.”

Kormos, a local alderman and criminal lawyer before his (to some of us shocking) election as a MPP, is since being touted in the press as “the cowboy” because of his trademark cowboy boots.

Born, in Welland, Ontario, Kormos ran away from home in his teens and was expelled from school before Grade 12.  “I never graduated from high school,” boasts the man recently in charge of Ontario’s financial institutions.

He took night courses before entering law school, where he paid his tuition by working at a book store.  “It was on Yonge Street.  It wasn’t just a book store, we had a little of everything…but it did have the smut, including stuff in plastic wrappers.  It was pornography,” Kormos has boasted to the media.

This is how the future “Sunshine Boy” responded to Ian Harvey.  “Yeah, well I had a disagreement with a police officer who didn’t think I had a right to see a client.  I was fined $25.”

And the tax charges?

“I didn’t file income tax returns foe 1978, 1979 and 1980 when I was a student.  Finally, I filed a blank piece of paper.”

Kormos pleaded guilty in court and paid a $750 fine.  A year earlier he’d paid a $220 fine in another tax case for failing to emit some employees’ income taxes – after deducting it from their cheques.

His conduct as a lawyer in court has been described as “combative,” and he was recently forced to apologize to a Welland court judge for his actions during a trial.

How do the brass of the NDP rate Kormos?  “He’s our hero,” says former MPP David Reville, now a special adviser to Ontario’s Premier Bob Rae, apparently with a special task of putting out fires of potential scandals bound to erupt, pertaining to new MPPs.

The Sunshine Boy episode is not the first time Kormos suffered a slap on the wrist from Bob Rae.  In January Rae told “The Cowboy” to cool it for publicly denouncing two insurance agents as “slime” during a parliamentary committee hearing.

Unbelievably, Kormos had bragged that nothing would stop him from winning a by-election in Welland-Thorold.  “I guess we’ll see what the voters think November 3,” he told Harvey.  “And, I think I’ll be seeing you in Queen’s Park, November 4.”

Not only were his predictions proved true for the by-election, but obviously voters didn’t think things like integrity and honesty mattered on September 6, 1990, when Peter Kormos was voted in handily in Ontario’s general election.

The sad part about all of this is that “The Cowboy” personifies the kind of cabinet we now have running this country’s largest province.  Given that only 98 per cent of the media operates from a lib-left bias, the scandals which David Reville was hired to minimize can’t help but erupt over the next year.  And that’s just the scandals.  Aside from them we now have government with a number of people whose only experience is activism, some of it of the extreme feminist and homosexual kind.  It’s no wonder why the man on the street in Ontario, who didn’t vote NDP, has a running joke about Queen’s Park, which goes something like this: “let me ask my cleaning lady, the cabinet minister.”

Editor’s note: The day after this column was received, March 12, newspapers revealed that Mr. Kormos’ advisor on sexist advertising was his personal friend Michael Grimaldi, hired by him after the election.  In 1988 Mr. Grimaldi was convicted of wife battering (common law spouse).  Mr. Kormos was Mr. Grimaldi’s lawyer.  After announcing Mr. Grimaldi’s “temporary” suspension from advising him on the issue of sexist advertising, the Premier asked Mr.’ Kormos himself to step down (March 17).  Kormos refused.

The next day Premier Rae, who himself had selected Mr. Kormos for a cabinet post, fired him on the grounds that he was “not a team player.”  His successor at the Ministry of Consumer Affairs is Marilyn Churley, the twelfth woman in the 27 member cabinet, and described by former colleagues in the Toronto City Council as a “radical feminist.”