Former Progressive Conservative MPP and Newstalk 1010 contributor Peter Shurman admits he could have used better language in describing Olivia Chow and her performance at Tuesday's mayoral debate.
As a round-table panelist on Newstalk 1010's Moore in the Morning Wednesday, Shurman said Chow had "proved herself to be, last night, pardon me, a major league biatch and not worthy of listening to, as far as I'm concerned."
Fellow panelist, National Post columnist Christie Blatchford, seemed to agree with Shurman on the tenor of Chow's debate performance. "Olivia was bitchy. And not a terribly attractive candidate, frankly," she said.
When asked by host John Moore whether it is appropriate to describe a female candidate as "bitchy", Blatchford became exasperated.
"Yes, it's appropriate," she said, calling Chow's suggestion that fellow mayoral candidates Rob Ford and John Tory are "one and the same" "catty stuff".
Both Blatchford and Shurman were guests on Newstalk 1010's The Live Drive with Ryan Doyle and Ben Mulroney Wednesday night and largely stood by their comments.
Blatchford dismissed the notion that sexism is at play.
"These aren't gender issues. Nobody's picking on Olivia Chow 'cause she's a woman. They're picking on her because they don't like her politics or her style," explained Blatchford.
Shurman offered an apology to anyone who was offended by his choice of words, but maintains Chow's behaviour at Tuesday's debate was "rather appalling".
"She behaves like she wants to be seen as an attack dog and does things like calling Ford and Tory, in one fell swoop, a couple of millionaires when she's sitting and living high off the hog on our dollars," said Shurman of the former Toronto Danforth MP. "Could I have I used better language? Sure I could have used better language, but I expressed something visceral."
Chow addressed the controversy online, about an hour after Shurman spoke on the Live Drive. The mayoral candidate tweeted as part of a discussion about women running for municipal office in Toronto.
Chow joins John Moore on Moore in the Morning Thursday at 7:15 am to discuss the comments.