Joey Coleman: Peter Kormos, my memories of a larger than life man

Peter Kormos, my memories of a larger than life man

[![Photo by Wikimedia user Abebenjoe. Licensed CC-BY-SA](http://www.joeycoleman.ca/wpfix/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Peter_Kormos_at_the_2009_St._Pauls_Nomination_Meeting-300x228.jpg)](http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Peter_Kormos_at_the_2009_St._Paul%27s_Nomination_Meeting.jpg)Photo by Wikimedia user Abebenjoe. Licensed CC-BY-SA
Peter Kormos [died Saturday at the age of 60](http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/peter-kormos-long-time-ontario-mpp-remembered-as-outspoken-and-popular-politician/article10587844/). To say the news was shocking would understate the surprise.

I didn’t know Kormos beyond what I read in newspapers and watched in the Legislature. I only had one conversation with the man.

In 1998, I visited Queen’s Park for a the first time. My member of the Legislature gave me a “member’s pass” to walk around the building and off I wondered – it’s amazing the access a teenager can get. I met Hamilton MPPs, they introduced me to other MPPs and I had quite the tour.

In the afternoon, I boarded an elevator and mistakenly thought Kormos was another member of the Leg. After an awkward moment, Kormos made a joke that put me at ease and walked me into the Legislative Chamber to watch the debates.

Other than that brief encounter, I only knew of Kormos from media reports and found him to be a fascinating politician.

He lead the opposition to the NDP government from within the NDP caucus. I wasn’t yet in high school and found this quite fascinating and confusing.

Kormos’ trial for assault captivated me, I was just starting in civic engagement and found the questions of legislative privilege of great interest. Kormos’ had entered a government office exposing lacklustre security of personal files and embarrassed the Harris government. (I was no fan of the Harris government) A security guard claimed he was assault. The charges were ruled unfounded.

As a journalist, I didn’t get the privilege of interviewing Kormos. I did get to watch him from the media gallery in the Chamber at Queen’s Park. His reputation did not do his oratory skills justice.

60, too young. Niagara has been robbed of a great politician, the rest of us robbed of an example of principle in politics.