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Stephen Lecce apologizes for fraternity ‘slave auction’ event | CBC News

Stephen Lecce apologizes for fraternity 'slave auction' event | CBC News

Stephen Lecce, one of Doug Ford’s highest profile cabinet ministers, is apologizing in the midst of the Ontario election campaign for his involvement in a so-called “slave auction” fundraiser 15 years ago. 

Lecce participated in a 2006 Sigma Chi event dubbed a “slave auction” while a leader of the fraternity’s chapter at Western University, the left-leaning PressProgress website reported Tuesday night. 

A few hours after the story appeared, Lecce issued a two-line statement apologizing “unreservedly” and not denying his participation. 

“The event from 2006 was inappropriate and in no way reflects who I am as a person, which is why I unreservedly apologize,” Lecce said in the statement.

“I will continue to passionately advance the interests of all Ontarians — irrespective of faith, heritage, orientation or race.”  

The Ontario New Democrats want Lecce to do more than apologize. They are calling for him to withdraw as a PC election candidate in the King–Vaughan riding. 

“Slavery is not a joke,” said an NDP news release signed by three of the party’s Black candidates: Jill Andrew (Toronto–St. Paul’s), Faisal Hassan (York South–Weston), and Laura Mae Lindo (Kitchener Centre). 

“Mr. Lecce chose to lead and participate in events that mocked and trivialized this painful history. He also chose to conceal them for years as a public official,” said the NDP candidates.

“Under no circumstances should the people of this province, or even more alarmingly our children, be represented by him at this time.”

Lecce has served as education minister in the Ford government for nearly three years.  

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Sun Valley Wine Auction Features New Events

Sun Valley Wine Auction Features New Events


Monday, May 9, 2022


Sun Valley Wine Auction Features New Events


Retiring Artistic Director Kristin Poole addresses the crowd at last year’s Wine Picnic and Auction, which took the place of the gala dinner under the tent during the pandemic.


Monday, May 9, 2022


Wine symposiums featuring a look at African and Italian wines will be part of the 41st Sun Valley Museum of Art’s Wine Auction event, which runs July 20-22.

The Museum is also creating a new opportunity for music lovers to join the party after the Wine Auction Picnic to enjoy a glass of wine at Trail Creek while listening to the music of the MarchFourth Marching Band, which was here 12 years ago.

“We’re very excited to be building on last year’s success with a couple new events,” said Wine Auction Director Peter Burke.



Judith Meyer helps herself to a canape during the inaugural River Ranch Wine Walk last summer.

Last year’s wine auction raised more than a million dollars for the arts education The Museum provides in schools and out in the community. The auction provides about half of the museum’s annual income, enabling The Museum to offer free programs to 4,000 students in the Wood River Valley. It has provided  more than a million dollars in scholarships over the years to local high school students, college students educators to pursue the study of arts and humanities outside the valley.

  • The week will kick off on Wednesday with nine VINTNER DINNERS and a YOUNG PATRON’S WINE TASTING, which will be held at the Sun Valley Wine Company. The dinners will be held at private residences up and down the valley from Carol Swig’s Sky Horse Ranch in the south to Rosalie and Dan Peed’s estate in Big Wood.

    The vintner dinners are really special because they create opportunities for us to have important conversations about the work we do,” said Burke. “Everybody there is to talk about the mission versus Trial Creek where the focus is on raising money. They have some incredible wines and some incredible dishes.”



Those turning out for last summer’s Wine Picnic and Auction at Trail Creek were all smiles.

Chefs include local favorites like Rodrigo Herrara and Anne and Scott Mason and celebrity chefs like John Tesar.

  • Two SYMPOSIUMS and a wine and cheese tasting will be offered in a new wine and cheese bar popping up on the site of the former Town Square Tavern. The SCOUT Symposia will be held at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, July 20-21.
  • The WINE PICNIC, LIVE AUCTION AND CONCERT will begin at 5:30 pm. Thursday, July 21, on the lawn outside Trail Creek Cabin. The dinner will be served buffet style and the lots will include a trip to Mendoza, Argentina, which sits in the heart of Argentina’s wine country in an area famous for Malbecs and other red wines.

    Afterwards, TRAIL CREEK AFTER HOURS will offer lower-priced tickets to enjoy wine and the concert provided by the MarchFourth Marching Band, which entertained those attending a Wine Picnic Concert 12 years ago with imaginative costumes, acrobatics, stilt walking, dancing and music provided by a four-piece percussion corps, a seven-part brass section and electric bass.

  • Ron and Susan Greenspan, who came up with the idea for the River Ranch Wine Walk last year will chair the Wine Auction this year. They fell in love with Sun Valley, buying a house the third day of their inaugural visit in 2008, and made Sun Valley their primary residence four years ago.

    “I love them—they’re two of the most down-to-earth gracious people,” said Burke. “Ron is a member of our board of directors and they have a significant art collection that represents a lot of artists here in the Sun Valley area.”

  • THE RIVER RANCH WINE WALK will close out the week’s events from 3 to 6 p.m. Friday, July 22. It will be held in the same location as last year, offering patrons the chance to wander through beautiful gardens and along the Big Wood River south of Ketchum, maybe even playing a game of badminton as they do.

  • Vintners will show off their latest wines at various locations chosen to represent areas like Napa, Sonoma, Willamette and Walla Walla, while servers will float among patrons, offering hors d’oeuvres prepared by the Sun Valley Culinary Institute and charcuterie from Atkinsons Market.

    The event will be capped at 200 people with priority going to those who have bought packages.

    The popular Vine and Dine picnic and concert has gone by the wayside because it got too big and demanded too much from the vintners, said Burke. But those who looked forward to it year after year can be consoled by the fact that The Museum is planning a block party on June 16.

    The party, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., will offer a chance for the community to thank Kristin Poole for 25 years as artistic director as she steps away to become concentrate on consulting work. The party will feature a band, food from The Haven and beverages from Warfield Distillery.

    Package and A La Carte Tickets go on sale 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 11. Check for more information.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          



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