'Despicable:' Female politicians portrayed as puppets of male colleagues
Flyers depict Brian Gallant and Roger Melanson as puppet masters of Cathy Rogers and Courtney Pringle-Carver
New Brunswick's Liberal minister of finance and a newly nominated Liberal candidate woke Sunday morning to find their neighbourhoods strewn with hundreds of flyers depicting them as puppets of two of their male colleagues.
The flyers feature caricatures of Finance Minister Cathy Rogers as a marionette with former finance minister Roger Melanson, now responsible for treasury board, post-secondary education, aboriginal affairs and trade policy, controlling her.
To the right, Premier Brian Gallant is operating a remote control attached to Courtney Pringle-Carver, the Liberal candidate for Moncton Northwest in the next provincial election.
Pringle-Carver secured her party's nomination on Saturday, when she was joined by Rogers and Gallant. She came across a flyer at the foot of her driveway Sunday when she was retrieving something from her car.
"On closer inspection, I realized it was a cartoon image of myself as a robot, I suppose indicating that I'm a robot controlled by the premier," she said.
"When I looked down the street, I realized there wasn't only one. There was easily more than 100."
Pringle-Carver said that throughout the morning she received messages from people in other neighbourhoods who had seen the flyers as well.
Cathy Rogers spent the morning picking up the flyers that were scattered across streets in her part of Moncton.
"They're despicable," she said.
"I'm angered, because how dare people presume that I can't think for myself and speak for myself."
Over the caricatures, a banner says "Liberal Party Feminism," which both Rogers and Pringle-Carver said is an inaccurate way of describing how their party approaches women in politics.
"We are doing everything in our power to ensure women's voices are heard at the table," Rogers said.
Neither Rogers nor Pringle-Carver have any idea who might have created the flyers. But both see them as a means to discourage diverse voices from getting into politics.
'Strengthens my resolve'
"This is exactly what discourages qualified potential candidates from seeking public office," Pringle-Carver said. "And it certainly has the potential to discourage women."
Despite the nature of the flyers, Pringle-Carver said it hasn't changed her mind about seeking public office.
"Seeing that poster in no way changes my commitment to running," she said. "If anything it strengthens my resolve."
CBC also requested comments from the New Brunswick Liberal Party and Gallant. The party said Monday that Rogers was speaking for it with her comments for the story.