Saskatchewan's opposition New Democratic Party is slamming an advertisement distributed in a government-held constituency announcing a fundraising dinner that includes an image of the twin towers of the World Trade Centre in flames and refers to a pig roast.
The poster is for Saskatchewan Party member of the legislature and provincial Environment Minister Nancy Heppner.
The MLA for the rural seat of Martensville, north of Saskatoon, says she brings in a motivational speaker — and serves roast pig — every year.
The guest speaker in April will be a firefighter who was trapped in the World Trade Center on 9/11, but escaped.
Sandra Morin, an NDP MLA, says combining the burning towers with the mention of the pig roast is problematic.
"I have a number of family members who are police officers, and there's colloquialisms that are used to describe police officers," Morin said Wednesday. "Unfortunately the bad taste of using the superimposition of the words 'pig roast' on the burning flames of the building is … certainly something that I would not have allowed to proceed if it was my fundraiser."
Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall and Heppner have both apologized for any hurt feelings.
Heppner says she had no idea anyone would find the poster offensive.
She said the posters have already been delivered to mailboxes in her constituency and she has not heard from anyone with a complaint about the content.
"We feel badly if anybody has been offended by this," Heppner said. "It was never our intention. It was one of the most tragic days in our collective history, not just for the United States but for Canada. And it would make me feel horrible if people were offended by this."
The poster says people attending the dinner would likely be moved by the story of the guest speaker, Richard Picciotto, a fire chief who was trapped in north tower rubble for hours.
"His story breathes the essence of a man who truly remembers the gritty truth of that day," the advertisement says. "It will provoke sincere and warm remembrance in the hearts of all who hear it."
Tickets for the dinner, on April 10, are priced at $50.
The advertisement included a photo credit to the New York Times.