HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Posters Accuse Miller Of Having Opponent Jailed
Pubdate: Sat, 11 Nov 2006
Source: Globe and Mail (Canada)
Copyright: 2006, The Globe and Mail Company
Author: Geoff Nixon, Special to The Globe and Mail


David Miller has been accused of a lot of things in this election 
campaign, but, until recently, throwing people into jail wasn't on the list.

Posters have appeared on newspaper boxes and hydro poles accusing the 
mayor of sweeping an opponent, Rev. Peter Okatar Styrsky, into a 
Northern Ontario jail to keep him out of the race.

Specifically, the hand-drawn posters, which feature cartoon marijuana 
leaves and scrawled block-letter text, suggest the mayor had direct 
influence in the jailing of Mr. Styrsky, a member of the 
controversial, pro-marijuana Assembly of the Church of the Universe.

"Miller put Rev. Peter Styrsky in jail to get him out of the way for 
the election," reads the photocopied sign. "Miller Time is over -- 
it's time for a real change."

Mr. Styrsky, a 49-year-old father of four, was arrested along with 
his wife and 24 church members in an Oct. 26 raid on his home on 
Queen Street East, where the church is also located. He was charged 
with 34 criminal counts related to the growing and distributing of 
$290,000 worth of marijuana and hashish.

He was denied bail and remanded at the Central North Correctional 
Centre in Penetanguishene.

The mayor's deputy communications director, Kim Barnhardt, said this 
week that Mr. Miller will not comment on the allegations.

"We are going to be focusing on the last push of the campaign that 
the mayor is running," Ms. Barnhardt said. "We're not going to 
comment on crazy theories."

According to Mr. Styrsky's allies, the only crazy thing is the fact 
that he is sitting in a Simcoe County jail, days before Monday's vote.

"He has really, really been forced out of the race no matter what is 
happening," said Rev. Walter Tucker, a member of the Hamilton branch 
of the Assembly of the Church of the Universe.

"It's happened to me before," Rev. Michael Baldasaro, who is also 
with the Hamilton branch of the church, said of being thrown in jail 
during the lead-up to an election. "I got votes whether I was in jail or not."

"[Mr. Styrsky] would make a better mayor than what he has got now," 
added Mr. Baldasaro, who is running for Hamilton mayoral.

And why should Torontonians vote for Mr. Styrsky?

"They would have a lot more fun," Mr. Tucker said.
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