Last Wednesday an ad ran in the National Post. It was full page, black and white, and featured a picture of a somewhat unhappy looking young girl. Oh, and it was the most appalling and extreme piece of hate speech I have ever seen published in this country.
The ad really needs to be seen to be believed, so I won’t get into describing it. It was paid for by the Institute for Canadian Values, a front for Charles McVety, an evangelical leader and frequent champion of bigotry and prejudice.
No surprise that McVety would want to inject this type of Homophobia and Transphobia into the ongoing election campaign, but what on earth was the National Post thinking when they agreed to publish it?
Turns out they weren’t thinking. By Friday the Post had printed an unconditional apology, claiming, essentially, that they had been duped:
The fact that we will not be publishing this ad again represents a recognition on our part that publishing it in the first place was a mistake. The National Post would like to apologize unreservedly to anyone who was offended by it. We will be taking steps to ensure that in future our procedures for vetting the content of advertising will be strictly adhered to.
The Post will also be donating the proceeds from the advertisement to an organization that promotes the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people.
Two days later a slightly different version of the ad showed up in the pages of the Toronto Sun. The same day pictures of a flyer being widely distributed by Tim Hudak’s Conservative campaign began to appear on Twitter. In miniscule type on the bottom of the flyer? “Authorized by the C.F.O. for the Ontario PC Party”
I have only two words for Tim Hudak: Forget. You. They are words I never thought I’d use in print, and I don’t use them lightly. But when you actively promote hate, when you target my friends, my neighbors, my fellow citizens and single them out for hatred and condemnation because of who they are, and when you do it while campaigning to represent ALL Ontarians in order to score points with bigots… well you can go forget yourself Hudak, sincerely.
I apologize for my language, I really do, but this is so sickening, so appalling, so fundamentally depressing, that I truly am at a loss for words. I can’t be rational, measured or calm. It’s all I can do to keep the steam from popping my ear drums.
Now, as anyone who reads me knows, I am the farthest thing from unbiased or impartial in my punditry. But there’s nothing partisan about this article. If you want to vote Liberal go ahead, I’ll be happy to tell you all the things I think are wrong with McGuinty, but he is not a bigot.
If you vote for Tim Hudak and the Ontario “Progressive” Conservatives this Thursday, you’ll be sending a message. A message to the Hudaks and McVetys of this world that this type of hate works. That spewing hatred and preaching bigotry are an effective way to get elected. A message that Homophobia and Transphobia are alive and well in this supposedly tolerant land.
Vote Green, Rhinoceros, NDP, Rainbows and Lollipops, Raelian or (sigh) even Liberal. But please, show Hudak that he’s wrong about Ontario. Whatever you do, don’t vote PC, or you’ll be putting your stamp of approval on bigotry.
Finally, please tell everyone you know. Share this and every other article about this slime until your mouse has a conniption fit. Call your mom, your dad, your grandparents, your half sister in Thunder Bay, your distant cousin in Hamilton, your old Chiropractor in Brant and your Dentist from when you were 10 in Niagara Falls. Together we can send a message of our own, that hate is unacceptable and a bigot will never be premier. So raise your voice, and tell the world there is no place for hate in Queen’s Park.
This article also appears on Rabble.ca, where Ethan Cox is a regular contributor
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