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article imageSaskatchewan Party apologizes for Twin Towers pig roast flyer

By Chris Dade     Mar 11, 2010 in Politics
The Premier and Environment Minister for the Canadian province of Saskatchewan have apologized for any offense caused by a flyer, advertising a pig roast, that features an image of the Twin Towers burning in New York City on 9/11.
While claiming that no complaints have been received regarding the flyer, Premier Brad Wall and Environment Minister Nancy Heppner of the ruling center-right Saskatchewan Party nevertheless issued an apology for its distribution.
It is advertising a fundraising pig roast dinner being held on April 11 in Ms Heppner's Martensville constituency.
The reason for the use of the Twin Towers image is the fact that Richard Picciotto, who served for 30 years as a firefighter in New York and was the highest ranking member of the city's fire department to escape from the Towers, is to be the speaker at the pig roast dinner.
Former chief Picciotto was, says The Star Phoenix, trapped in and rescued from the North Tower of the World Trade Center, following an attack that claimed nearly 3,000 lives, including those of 341 firefighters.
However the Globe and Mail reports that the image on the flyer is of the South Tower and is a photo used by the New York Times. Although closer inspection reveals that both towers are shown.
Contacted by the Globe and Mail Mr Picciotto apparently confirmed that he knew nothing about the flyers, already distributed and therefore unable to be recalled, but stated that sensitivity was necessary when using images of the Twin Towers.
For New York City Fire Department City (FDNY) spokesman Frank Dwyer noted:The FDNY hopes that no one ever forgets what happened on September 11th. However, we do think that the use of images of the attacks for political or monetary gain, like the image on this poster, is in bad taste
Nancy Heppner has indicated that she approved the flyer once it had been produced by her constituency association and did so knowing that Richard Picciotto had used a similar image during speeches and presentations he has given.
Responding to criticism of the flyer from the opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) - opposition leader Dwain Lingenfelter is quoted as saying the flyer lacks "judgment", "common decency and humanity" and "reflects poorly on the whole province" - Ms Heppner said that the image used "was not chosen with any malicious intent nor it was never our intention to appear insensitive or offend anybody", adding:It would make me feel horrible if anyone was offended by this, that was never our intention, and if anybody is I would obviously apologize for it
According to the New York Daily News, where a copy of the flyer advertising the $50 CAD a head fundraiser can be seen, the Environment Minister added that 9/11 was "one of the most tragic days in our collective history, not just for the U.S. but for Canada".
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, seemingly after the NDP had raised the subject of the flyer in the legislature, Brad Wall, his province's Premier since the Saskatchewan Party triumphed in the general election held in November 2007, explained:I don’t think there was anything intended there. Certainly from the party’s perspective, I would say as leader of the party, if anybody found that offensive then I apologize to them because that would neither be the intent of it and neither would it be the intent of the party
It is unclear when and where the apology, described as tepid by the Globe and Mail, from Nancy Heppner was made.
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