Liberal flyer offends military, MacKay says
CTV.ca News Staff
Published Sunday, September 13, 2009 9:38PM EDT
The Liberal Party is drawing criticism over flyers mailed in New Brunswick that some in the military have deemed "offensive."
The flyer, sent from Vancouver Centre MP Hedy Fry, depicts a tattered Canadian flag and what could be taken to be a soldier's ruck sack, alongside the statement: "We used to wear it with pride."
Tracy Marcotullio of Oromocto, N.B. says that she finds the message troubling. Her husband, Dave, is on his third tour of duty in Afghanistan.
"I don't know what their intention was, I don't know what they were trying to portray with that image and those words . . . but what it says to me and a lot of other people is that our soldiers should not be proud to wear the Canadian flag and in turn their uniform," she told CTV Atlantic.
Marcotullio has demanded an apology.
"There needs to be an explanation... there needs to be an apology to our soldiers," she said.
Defence Minister Peter MacKay also weighed in on the issue over the weekend.
"The families, in particular, of soldiers who are deployed, hearing that kind of comment, that's a stick in the eye to soldiers, service men and women and their families," he said in Antigonish, N.S.
Fry has spoken out on the controversy and said she apologizes if anyone misinterpreted her message to feel it was derogatory to the military.
She says the military are the ones who "continue to do us proud while the Harper government has let us down."
The flyer was mailed out in the Oromocto area as so-called "10-per-centers," which are pamphlets sent by a sitting MP but paid for by the government.
She added that the pamphlet did not come from her office, but was approved by the Liberal party, and legally had to be sent with an MP's name, and it just happened to be her named used.
Fry told CTV News she was surprised by the reaction to the pamphlet.
"I have no idea what it has to do with the military, nothing it in looks like the military" she said. "It's a backpack kids use when they go touring in Europe."
"There used to be this truth that people from other countries used to buy a Canadian flag and sew it onto their backpack because that flag represented so many things that people in other parts of the world respected."
Fry said that under the Harper government, people from other countries have lost respect for Canada's principles.