Michael Bryant: "I don't know what the future holds" - Macleans.ca

Michael Bryant: “I don’t know what the future holds”

Cleared of all charges, doesn’t rule out political future


After a public altercation left a bicycle courier dead on the side of Toronto’s Bloor Street West, it seemed that former Ontario cabinet minister Michael Bryant’s political future was over for good. He stepped out of the limelight, and took a quieter job at a Toronto law firm. But with charges against him recently dropped, Bryant might be reconsidering. At a press conference on Tuesday, Bryant was asked if he was considering another run for public office. His response: “To be honest, I haven’t really thought about much other than getting through this experience.” But Bryant conceded: “I don’t know what the future holds.” Some say that in the political world, that kind of evasiveness is as good as a “Yes, please!” The mere fact that he called a press conference, says University of Toronto professor Nelson Wiseman, is sign enough that Bryant is “courting attention in some sort of publicly visible way.” “To me,” Wiseman added, “that’s a political act.”

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Michael Bryant: “I don’t know what the future holds”

  1. Er, he may not be guilty of murder but his career in politics is dead dead dead.

  2. Being a drunken rage-a-holic makes you a hero? Seriously, I'm a cyclist and people like you and Sheppard continue to make the situation worse.

    • Well, how are people to react when they almost lose their life because some idiot who couldn't be bothered to look what they are doing hits or almost hits you? Somehow I don't think you will be like Eric Idle in European Vacation – "Oh, it's alright Mr. Bryant, I'll just pop over to the chemists and be right as rain. You just keep smashing things that get in your way like a good chap."

      As a cyclist you should know how often it happens as well as scary and infuriating, especially when you get flipped off or told off because you demanded that someone actually pay attention or obey the rules. And yes, I know not all cyclists obey the rules but neither do all the drivers and it isn't an excuse for others to drive poorly.

      Sheppard isn't a hero but he is a tragic figure. No matter how he railed against the SUV driver or the alleged other incidents, no one was hurt and no one died. Seems to me that the situation was made worse by a driver who killed a guy for voicing his extreme displeasure at being hit with a car. I know exactly how that feels as a pedestrian I doubt it feels any better as a cyclist.

  3. Various stages of Bryant's escalating panic attack have all been conveniently rolled together to explain why Sheppard was killed. According to Bryant's defense – the fear and panic that Bryant felt after accidentally lurching forward and really upsetting Sheppard seems to have magically began before Bryant lurched forward. The defense claims that Bryant panicked and forgot how to drive his car, then Bryant panicked again and knocked Sheppard off his bike, then Bryant was panicking as an angry Sheppard was hanging onto a speeding car, and so on. This convoluted story of panic that Bryant felt after knocking Sheppard off his bike – is being used to explain why Bryant knocked Sheppard off his bike in the first place. It is impossible to explain events from the past using events from the future – yet that is what the defense seems to have done. So many people who faithfully read newspapers are adamant that Bryant was attacked. Others are adamant that Bryant was afraid of being attacked – so which is it? Something clearly does not make any sense.

    Was Bryant's first stage of panic when he lurched forward into Sheppard rational? No matter how intimidating Sheppard seemed or how insulting Sheppard's words were – Bryant clearly exhibited some terrible driving. If a cyclist appeared so menacing wouldn't anyone be trying not to ram into him? Many people are saying that Sheppard attacked Bryant, and what would you do? The surveillance videos clearly show that the car drives forward into a person sitting on a bicycle. At this point it is completely unbelievable that Bryant was already starting to panic or so intimidated that he needed to get away by driving forward and through Sheppard. Bryant reacted violently toward the annoying cyclist by ramming into him. The real panic Bryant felt came after making a stupid decision to use his car as a weapon.

    This is very clear. The powers of the entire justice system would be severely diminished if the former attorney general were to have been in any way found to be criminally negligent. Given the evidence of Bryant's crappy driving (or rage) and his flimsy unbelievable defense – mixed with the tremendous slander and lack of empathy for Darcy Allan Sheppard in the newspapers – the justice system has already been diminished.

    • Shhh. You know you are just too logical. Simply close your mind and believe as they say, things will go much easier that way. You don't want to get labeled a "troublemaker" or an "independent thinker" now, do you? They put people away for that.

      Of course what you say is correct and is definitely something that needed to be sorted out in front of a jury of Bryant's peers not some "special" (maybe they meant special in a mental capacity) prosecutor who already had ties to the ON government and is a DEFENCE lawyer not a prosecutor, especially one with a history of dropping charges due to "no reasonable chance of conviction" as a special prosecutor.

      Just review the cases already on the books in this country and you will see how others were dragged through the system on similar charges with less evidence. Or how others trying to use the defence of justification for homicide are put through the ringer to show they were indeed justified. At the very leaset, a charge of dangerous driving is warranted for a man who admits to starting his car (a manual) with a known "sticky clutch" while his head was down and all the while a man on a bicycle is a few inches in front of you. Wouldn't be hard to prove negligence with that admission, now would it?

  4. There are all sorts of "myths we live by" including the idea of owning and operating an expensive heavy vehicle. For many the machine is an extension of themselves: a status enhancing personal mobility sexual incompetency device. The operating budget of newspapers is greatly supplied by car company advertising dollars. These newspapers slandered Darcy Allan so as to draw attention away from the fact that cars can be used as weapons. Another myth is the idea that whatever is printed in newspapers is the opinion of mostly everyone. People faithfully read newspapers because it's a convenient way to absorb opinions and ideas about the world around them – without having to really do much thinking for themselves. You won't exactly see a headline like this: Cars Kill People – Not Scary Cyclists.