Lawn sign threatening to shoot Liberals draws condemnation
TORONTO -- A homemade lawn sign that seemed to jokingly threaten to “shoot every 3rd Liberal” drew criticism on Monday from election candidates and the public.
Karen McCrimmon, the Liberal candidate for the Kanata-Carleton riding in Ottawa, posted a photo on Twitter of the sign, and wrote: “Ok… I must admit to struggling with this but I decided that by being silent, I would not do right by my team or by my beliefs that politics should be civil.”
“When we see an example of intolerance or suggestions of violence, we must challenge them.”
The sign warned, “2nd one just left.”
In a follow-up tweet, McCrimmon added, “I wore a flak jacket in Afghanistan to help secure the people there, the right to vote. Damned if I would allow this to pass unchallenged.” McCrimmon is a retired lieutenant colonel in the Canadian Forces and spent 31 years in the military.
A canvassing team for McCrimmon saw the sign on Sunday and reported it to the police, McCrimmon’s campaign manager Randy Boucher said. Boucher said there were no plans to follow up with the police and declined to name the street where the sign was seen, adding that he did not know if it has since been taken down or not.
All threats are taken seriously and canvassers have been asked to bypass that particular street as a precaution, Boucher said. “The threat was pretty specific and pretty serious. We would never put our team in that risk.”
An Ottawa police spokesperson said in an email that the matter was under investigation and no further details were available.
Justina McCaffrey, the Conservative candidate for the same riding, responded to McCrimmon’s tweet denouncing the sign.
“Couldn’t agree more with you, Karen. Threats of political violence have no place in our democracy,” she wrote. “I’ve instructed my campaign to remove our sign from this property.”
A number of comments to McCrimmon’s post made light of the sign, calling it a joke, with some pointing to Conservative posters that have been defaced. But others called the sign “disturbing”, “inappropriate” and in “bad taste”.