Former Attorney General in Cyclist/Driver "Altercation"


The victim's bike. Images from CTV

For years, cyclists have been demanding bicycle lanes on Toronto's tony Bloor Street, but the shoppers with their Mercedes and Bentleys always carried the day. It is under construction right now, and even more difficult for both to co-exist.

Michael Bryant was a popular Attorney General who overhauled the human rights system, re-established civilian oversight of police and depoliticized Justice of the Peace appointments. But last night he had an altercation with a cylist who hung onto the side of his Saab convertible. Bryant then drove 300 yards down the wrong side of the street, evidently trying to brush the cyclist off with lamp posts and fire hydrants.


Michael Bryant's Saab

"He was driving on the wrong side of the street and up on the curb trying to knock him off the car for about 100 metres," said Ryan Brazeau, a worker with a crew laying sewer pipes on Bloor.

"Lots of people were watching and they couldn't believe what was happening."

He succeeded; the cyclist eventually fell off the car and under the rear wheels. He died around midnight.


Bryant in police car

It is too early to say what caused Bryant to do this; it always seems laughable when drivers say they were terrorized by a crazed cyclist, but we have heard it before. But one man is dead and another's future (Bryant was touted as a replacement for Premier Dalton McGuinty) is destroyed.

But one can certainly put some of the blame on the lack of decent bike infrastructure, particularly on a street where putting so many cyclists and drivers in such close quarters is just dangerous.

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From the Globe and Mail:

Ontario's former attorney general Michael Bryant is facing two charges after a fatal hit-and-run in Toronto's Yorkville neighbourhood Monday night.

Mr. Bryant will be charged with criminal negligence causing death and dangerous driving causing death, a police source tells the Globe, after a collision left a 33-year-old cyclist dead.

Timeline of events from Globe and Mail

From Premier Dalton McGuinty:

"It's just very sad, it is very tragic, how events that unfold in inside of a minute can have such a profound impact on people's lives. A negative impact," Mr. McGuinty said. Asked whether he thought Mr. Bryant would get special treatment because of his position as the former attorney general, the premier said: "I'm confident that anybody who would come before Ontario courts would be treated with due process."

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