Calgary MP advises soldiers to 'pull trigger'
Calgary MP Rob Anders is raising eyebrows for signing a card in support of Canadian troops with the handwritten message: "When in doubt, pull the trigger."
The card, which was placed in a lobby off the House of Commons for MPs to sign on Monday, bears handwritten notes from politicians from all parties.
Photos of the card and its messages from members of Parliament were forwarded to CBC News by the Liberal Party.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper signed it: "You're the best!" while Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff simply put his signature on the card.
"You all make us very proud. You are our Team Canada. Thank you for your service. Come home safe," wrote Peter MacKay, the minister of national defence.
Anders' message did not sit well with his constituents in Calgary West.
"I find this very offensive and disgusting as my husband used to be in the military," said Dorthy Wright on Monday. "I don't think it's a joke."
B.K. Samuel, 18, said if Anders was joking, he should have made it clear in case soldiers took his message the wrong way.
"It's pretty funny, but I don't think it's appropriate to send to … soldiers," said Nyuon Jock, 16.
Phone calls to Anders' office were not returned on Monday, and a spokesman from the Prime Minister's Office had no comment.
The card was organized by a Christian group called El Shafie Ministries - One Free World International.
Anders was first elected in Calgary West as a Reform MP in 1997. He was the only MP to vote against making Nelson Mandela an honorary citizen of Canada, calling him a "terrorist."
More recently, Anders has been facing challenges within his own riding association over being acclaimed the Tory candidate in the next federal election.
With files from the CBC's Kady O'Malley