Toronto – During the 2005 federal election campaign, Alan Clarke, a Conservative Party member and a campaign worker for conservative MP Colin Carrie, allegedly produced a leaflet calling Sid Ryan, president of CUPE Ontario, a terrorist.
The leaflet featured a picture of Mr. Ryan shaking hands with Alec Maskey, former Lord Mayor of Belfast. The publication falsely implies that the photo was taken at a Friends of Sinn Fein fundraiser when, in fact, the event was a fundraiser for the Ireland Fund of Canada and was attended by some 1,500 people at the Metro Convention Centre.
“This material was used in a dirty tricks campaign against me as I ran for the federal NDP,” said Ryan. “It is important that people who try to use these tactics learn immediately that such tricks will not be tolerated.
“While I am waiting to hear the results of Election Canada’s investigation, I am also still waiting to hear Conservative MP Colin Carrie decry the behaviour of one of his campaigners and the Conservative Party itself has been completely silent on the actions of one of their members, actions which are absolutely unacceptable in an election campaign in this country.”
Since the passage of Resolution 50 by the membership of CUPE Ontario, Mr. Ryan has been the target of calls for his murder and death threats.
“As we remember those who were killed on 9/11, we must protect ourselves from charges of being terrorists. Somehow it has become acceptable to call your political opponents a terrorist if it suits you. Those are dangerous and damaging words and I will fight for the democracy we have come to cherish in this country — and our freedom to express political opinions that may differ from others.”
Today, I have instructed my lawyer to determine the identity of the person running the blog that calls for my murder. I am not going to sit back and tolerate these tactics any longer. We are serving notice that we will prosecute.
For more information, please contact:
Sid Ryan, President, CUPE Ontario, 416-209-0066 (cell)
Wendy Forbes, CUPE Communications, 416-299-9739 ext 264