Campaign video painting Vanier as crime-ridden slum removed
Pierre Leroux, Liberal candidate for Glengarry–Prescott–Russell, posted animated video Tuesday
An eastern Ontario Liberal candidate has pulled down a video depicting Vanier as a crime-ridden slum after complaints from both political opponents and community members.
Pierre Leroux, the Liberal candidate for Glengarry–Prescott–Russell, posted the animated "get to know me" video on his Facebook page Tuesday.
Anybody who grew up in Vanier and has a sense of humour will laugh about it.- Pierre Leroux, Liberal candidate for Glengarry–Prescott–Russell
The video introduces potential voters to Leroux's family and offers other biographical details.
"We're originally from Vanier," Leroux says in the video, which cuts to a cartoon image of him and his wife standing against a bleak urban backdrop of broken windows and burning buildlngs.
A police car sits nearby, and beside it, two smiling cartoon bandits.
Leroux initially defended the video when CBC reached out to him Tuesday afternoon.
"I grew up in Vanier, and the reason I left was when we had young boys we got broken into two times," he said. "Anybody who grew up in Vanier and has a sense of humour will laugh about it."
Leroux said the community has changed since he lived there, but said that was the reality he remembers.
Later Tuesday afternoon , Leroux removed the video and issued a brief statement on Facebook.
"It has come to my attention, that some persons have misconstrued a portion of my video, as an attack on the residents of Vanier. Nothing could be further from the truth. I take full responsibility for the video — which has now been taken down," he wrote.
Rideau-Vanier Coun. Mathieu Fleury is among those two took offence to the video.
"We have worked hard in the community to change that stigma," he said. "We have a lot of young families. We have dropped the crime rate a significant amount."
Fleury said Leroux's video only perpetuates the unfair stigma, and he shouldn't have posted it.
"I wouldn't put down his community. I wish for him not to put down any other community, including mine."
Others, including Lisa MacLeod, the Conservative MPP for Nepean–Carleton, reacted more angrily.
Wow. Same Liberal candidate who approached me about Tory nomination in GPR now crapping on Vanier as a place for cops and robbers. Was in Ottawa Vanier last Friday to visit La Cite. Sure didn’t look like that. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/insultingtoottawa?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#insultingtoottawa</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/nojudgement?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#nojudgement</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/whatdoesnataliethink?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#whatdoesnataliethink</a> <a href="https://t.co/dIovc9Xdt7">https://t.co/dIovc9Xdt7</a>—@MacLeodLisa
WTF!? Is this really a candidate that represents your party? The people of Vanier deserve better. <a href="https://twitter.com/ndesrosiers?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ndesrosiers</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/Kathleen_Wynne?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Kathleen_Wynne</a> <a href="https://t.co/ild2nXtbO3">https://t.co/ild2nXtbO3</a>—@ScottMoffatt21