Controversial cartoon compares Harper government to Nazis
The use of a notorious Nazi symbol to make a political point has sparked an angry response from residents in Nova Scotia’s Pictou County.
An editorial cartoon in the Pictou Advocate shows a swastika flag flying over the Peace Tower with the words “Harper’s Economic Action Plan” over the Parliament buildings.
Central Nova MP Peter MacKay is among those upset by the cartoon, which he says is offensive to all Canadians and borders on hate.
MacKay has personally asked the publisher to print an apology and says he won’t be reading the weekly newspaper anymore.
“Needless to say, I’ve cancelled my subscription to the Pictou Advocate, and I suspect others may do the same,” says MacKay.
Many Pictou residents are also expressing anger over the controversial cartoon.
“It doesn’t make much sense to me,” says Eva MacLean. “I’m always offended when I see a Nazi flag.”
“This is a regime that killed over 11 million innocent people. This is why we sent our troops over in World War II, to liberate Europe and to save the world,” says Tyler Cameron.
“Now a newspaper is using that as some sort of joke to make a political statement? I think that’s wrong.”
Bill Echlin, past president of the Royal Canadian Legion in Pictou, says the cartoon is insulting to veterans.
“It’s certainly an insult to me as a veteran and to any other veteran, I would expect, who fought against the flat flag,” says Echlin.
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs issued a statement about the cartoon Thursday afternoon, calling it “tasteless” and asking for an apology.
“The tasteless and inappropriate use of the swastika to make a political point only trivializes the horrific crimes of the Nazis. Such a cartoon is offensive to the Jewish community, to all who suffered during WWII, and to Canadian veterans who sacrificed so much to liberate Europe from Nazi rule,” said the organization on a statement posted on its website.
But not everyone was upset by the cartoon. Some say it makes a strong political point.
“I think it’s just about right on,” says Doug Mitchell. “I’m not offended by it.”
CTV News made several attempts to contact the editor of the Pictou Advocate but was told she had left for the day.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Dan MacIntosh