SURREY — Is former Surrey mayor Dianne Watts’ federal election campaign pamphlet about ISIS and Jihadist terrorists out of line?
Garry Begg, the NDP’s MP candidate for Fleetwood-Port Kells is among the many who think so.
“She was slow to react to domestic issues, law and order in Surrey,” said Beggs, a retired senior Surrey RCMP officer. “For whatever reason, she thinks she can take on all of ISIS.”
The Conservative MP candidate for South Surrey-White Rock has drawn a national publicity storm after distributing a campaign flyer that some have described as fear mongering “scare ware.”
“We will fight Jihadist terrorists at home and abroad,” it says, and co-opts a 2014 National Post headline that says “ISIS urges Jihadists to attack Canadians: ‘You will not feel safe in your bedroom.'”
Watts defended herself Wednesday.
“There was no intention to fear monger,” she told the Now. “ISIS has clearly declared Canada as a target for terrorism.
“We have seen such acts on Canadian soil with the death of our Canadian soldier in Ottawa, in Quebec, and a foiled attempt at the B.C. legislature.”
Watts noted that we’ve all seen TV footage and photos of thousands of Syrians fleeing their country, and reports of 1.5 million Nigerians — half of them children — being forced from their homes by Boko Haram.
“Terrorism is a real and serious issue. The violence that has been inflicted on the families — the children and the people of Syria and Iraq cannot go unanswered,” Watts said. “Canada cannot sit on the sidelines and watch these atrocities continue. I decided to run for the Conservative Party because they are the only party that has taken a stand against this type of violence and terrorism.”
But Begg isn’t buying it.
“I’m disappointed that she overreacted and bought into the fear factor,” Begg said. “She’s bought into the myth that there’s monsters under the bed.”
Social media has not been kind.
Commenter Don Pitcairn writes, “Maybe Watts is worried about those ‘Surreyian’ terrorists, especially since Newton already resembles a war zone with so many shootings we’ve lost count.”
Marv Jury wrote that “There are more Canadians killed in Surrey every week than Canadians killed by terrorists in a year.”
Writes Phil Byrne, “Keepin’ it classy CPC.”
Does Watts think she’s getting unfairly pilloried?
“Well, you know, it is election time,” she told the Now.