Courtney Pringle-Carver won the Liberal Party nomination in the riding of Moncton Northwest on Saturday. The next morning she woke up to flyers plastered through her neighbourhood depicting her and Finance Minister Cathy Rogers as puppets being controlled by Premier Brian Gallant.
“I was incredibly disappointed,” says Pringle-Carver. “I think that especially in this day and age to imply that women don't have thoughts or opinions is archaic, it's false and it's offensive to men and women alike.”
Pringle-Carver noticed the posters at the end of her driveway. After a quick scan of her neighbourhood and other areas in the city, she realized hundreds were made.
Pringle-Carver immediately shared the image on social media the response has been overwhelmingly supportive. The Conservative incumbent of Pringle-Carver's riding says this type of behaviour should not be tolerated.
“Who would be that mean? Who would be that nasty to do that? I would say, you know what? Please continue to offer, please continue to work for your community,” says Moncton Northwest MLA Ernie Steeves.
Cathy Rogers was shocked too. First elected to the provincial legislature in 2014, she's previously witnessed the vicious nature of politics.
“I've seen these things before but not exactly like this. This was pretty blatant,” says Rogers. “We see instances of sexism. We've seen this before.”
Politically speaking, it's been happening for a century. Pringle-Carver says this type of treatment of women needs to end.
“This year since the first female MLA was elected in Canada, think everyone would agree and I think everyone would agree that it is time for us to move past this level of discourse,” she says.
There are signs of hope. Over the weekend Montreal elected its first female mayor. Moncton did the same in 2016.
Mayor Dawn Arnold says she still deals with different types of harassment.
“Rise above it,” Arnold says. “(Don’t) let it get to you. You get very thick skin when you become a politician, that's for sure.”
Pringle-Carver says the posters have made her more encouraged than ever to run for office and motivate more women to become involved in politics.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Jonathan MacInnis.