Skip to main content

Conservative leadership candidate Kellie Leitch speaks during the Conservative leadership debate in Saskatoon, Wednesday, November 9, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Liam Richards

Liam Richards/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Police are investigating a banner draped over Ontario MP Kellie Leitch's constituency office that invokes the Quebec City mosque shooting and urges the controversial Conservative leadership candidate to resign.

The banner, stretching nearly the full height of the single-storey building, says, "Hate puts us all at risk," and bears the names of the six people killed in Sunday's mosque shooting in Quebec City, along with the hashtag #notmyMP.

Police say the banner was removed Wednesday morning after they were called to Leitch's office in Collingwood, Ont.

Story continues below advertisement

Related: Canadian values test could equally apply to white supremacists: Leitch

Read more: Who's running for the Conservative leadership? Read the list of candidates

Opinion: Kellie Leitch is digging a hole so deep she's getting tunnel vision

As a Conservative leadership candidate, Leitch has promised to screen newcomers to Canada for "Canadian values" — a proposal that garnered fresh attention after the shooting, although there's nothing to suggest the alleged gunman would have been screened.

When asked for her response, Leitch was brief. "Freedom of speech is a Canadian value," she said in a statement.

Leitch condemned the Quebec City attack, calling it an "outrageous act of violence" and "an attack not just on those gathered in a house of worship but on the very fabric of Canadian society, on the values of freedom and tolerance."

But those words have rung hollow for some Canadians, and Conservative politicians say that in today's political climate, they all need to be more mindful of what they say.

Story continues below advertisement

Quebec MP Gerard Deltell, who does not support the screening idea, said there are two issues at play: the first, a leadership race where candidates are going to put forward policies to be debated and ultimately accepted or rejected by the party.

The second is the responsibility they all have during the debate.

"I think that as a public personality, and especially as a political figure, we have to look and we have to think about what we have said, what we say today and what we will say on this very delicate issue," Deltell said.

Andrew Scheer, who is also running for the leadership, said there's a danger the party itself could be hurt by even debating policies like Leitch's.

"There are many things leadership candidates do or say that would give them a headline — maybe help them sell a few thousand memberships," Scheer said.

"If it ultimately hurts our party's brand or image, if people view the party as a whole as less open, less inclusive or less able to govern a country as diverse as Canada, then that leadership candidate ... does the party and the caucus a disservice."

Story continues below advertisement

Michael Chong, who is also seeking the leadership, has suggested Leitch's position is downright dangerous.

A day after the Quebec City shooting, he sent an email to supporters urging caution.

"Proposals to add an additional screen for immigrants based on anti-Canadian values is not a practical solution, and frankly, is playing to fears and prejudices," he wrote.

"Demagogues and wannabe demagogues, playing to fears and prejudices, have created the space for hate to grow."

Report an error
Comments

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • All comments will be reviewed by one or more moderators before being posted to the site. This should only take a few moments.
  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed. Commenters who repeatedly violate community guidelines may be suspended, causing them to temporarily lose their ability to engage with comments.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.
Cannabis pro newsletter