The audience at the 21st annual Agnes Macphail awards got more than it bargained for when Jenni Dwyer of Westwood Middle School took the microphone and lambasted the mayor for “embarrassing” the city and repeatedly lying about his drug smoking.
Many in the audience at the East York Civic Centre were struck because the harsh speech came from the mind of a 12-year-old.
Dwyer had participated in a public speaking competition for Toronto middle schoolers last month, and was tied with another girl, Kate Mader, from St. Anselm Catholic School, for first place.
Both girls were asked to present their speeches at the Agnes Macphail awards ceremony on March 24, where Dwyer was declared the winner. Mader spoke about “What is Reality?”
Dwyer won a trophy for her criticism of Ford, which included her thoughts on the mayor’s attitudes towards media, his comments about women and sexuality, his admitted drug use, and his frequent absence from Toronto’s annual Gay Pride parades. Toronto Observer reporter Dillon Hiles was there to capture the winning oration.