The Globe and Mail has clarified a story on the Mississauga mayoral race that was in the paper on Saturday. It is an important race (as all elections are), but it is particularly interesting because Hazel McCallion, who has been mayor for 36 years, is not on the ballot.
The story is on the two major candidates, Bonnie Crombie and Steve Mahoney, who are locked in a tight race.
The clarification says: "A Saturday Globe T.O. story on the race for Mississauga mayor referred to candidate Bonnie Crombie's jobs as a manager for McDonald's and Disney Corp. The article said representatives from those companies were unable to confirm her role at the two companies. However, the enquiries were based on her married name and not her maiden name. Ms. Crombie has provided documentation that she did in fact work for those companies under her maiden name Bonnie Sawarna."
Quite frankly, this should not be a surprise to anyone these days. Some working women, some reporters at this newspaper, will work under their maiden name while living outside work under their married and/or legal name. Other women will have several names during their working careers, perhaps double-barrelled or just changing as their marital status changes.
While it is proper for a journalist to confirm a résumé and employment history of a candidate for such an important role, the story as originally written left a big question mark.
The reporter said she called the candidate back before publication to say she was unable to get confirmation from the employers. The candidate said she did not have records, but she also did not suggest that she was working under her maiden name at the time. She later provided documentation showing she had worked at those companies under her maiden name.
It is not easy to see an answer to this. The candidate is running on her business experience, so to leave out the references would be unusual. At the same time, two companies responded to say they were unable to confirm her role. So with the great benefit of hindsight, perhaps it would have been better to leave out that line and follow it up in a later story.