George Smitherman does what he has always done throughout his career: he tells it like it is … a must-read for political junkies.
Terry Fallis, two-time winner of the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour
A remarkable book for a politician to write. Its searing honesty sets it apart.
J. S. Watt, Executive Chairman, Navigator
This is the profoundly personal story of George Smitherman - the man and the politician. In his book, Unconventional Candour, he gives the reader a fascinating insight to his background and outlines the extraordinary influence of his family and friends in his developing a strong sense of community. He was instilled with a belief in the right to equality, the need to fight for justice, and a passion for progress while maintaining his independence. His savvy political instincts, from an early age, led him on a path to become fiercely loyal to the Liberal Party. With blunt honesty and intimate insights, Smitherman narrates the story of the dynamic political landscape of the 80’s and 90’s. He articulates, ‘I delighted in highlighting unsung heroes, and pride myself in my instinct to lift people and communities up.’ This is the strength of leadership we came to know. Five years ago, George’s husband Christopher died from suicide. George’s story is one of lived experience. It is told through the lens of a bereaved spouse, as only someone who has survived their partner can truly understand. If love could have saved him, Christopher would be alive today. George has come far on his journey to create a blessing from the darkness of watching a partner suffer, and experiencing tragic loss and infinite grief. The love of family and friends helped him through his grief. Most of all, the love from his adoring children helped to heal him, ‘from that day until now, my crew of two hugs-and-cuddles have filled the void and saved the day.’ Faced with adversity, trauma and tragedy, George’s resilience alchemized his grief into a force to be reckoned with. He turned tragedy into transformation and loss into legacy. Unconventional Candour will be a transformative read.
David Cooper, co-author of Bridge Over the River Why
George has been on a remarkable journey. Whether in the political arena or with regards to interpersonal struggles and triumphs, he always speaks honestly and emotionally and offers many life lessons along the way. It’s a story that would be a mirror to city life, family life or inner life. It’s also a tale that would have a strong impact on your own struggles and ultimately your resilience. Told with humor and yes, candor.
Alex Shendelman, Manager, Traumatic Loss Survivor Support Program