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Bob Rae: Tory "human smuggling" ad crosses the line

Liberal MP Bob Rae today attacked a Conservative Party ad on human smuggling, saying it "crosses the line."

In a post on his Liberal Party site, Rae wrote:

It is based on fear, and is directly prejudicial to a fair determination of refugee claims that are currently being considered. The use of the picture of the MV Sun Sea – twice – amid statements about "crimes," "smugglers," and attacks on the Liberal Party – clearly leads to no other interpretation than that those individuals aboard this boat are criminals and illegitimate refugees.

The use of negative and hateful stereotypes is an age-old technique – but its vintage is no excuse, and does not make it any less prejudicial. The principle that people's claims have to be considered fairly, and free of any prejudice, is integral to Canada’s commitment to the rule of law.

Rae did not link to the ad, and it is not yet on the Conservative Party website, but it is available on a blog called Tory Redux.

Meanwhile, a CTV report on Friday reported that some Tamils who arrived on the MV Sun Sea have had to pay their smugglers simply to get out of jail.

Crawford Kilian is a contributing editor of The Tyee.

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