Viewpoints clash over civic campaign literature photo use
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 14/09/2022 (268 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A Winnipeg woman says she was shocked to find her photograph in a mayoral candidate’s campaign literature, and upset at the lack of response in her quest to have the image removed.
Bev Pike wants the photo taken during a July meeting between Jenny Motkaluk and members of the non-partisan South Osborne Residents’ Group deleted, saying it was used without permission.
“We didn’t consent for that use. We can’t be partisan, for any candidate,” group volunteer Pike said.
The mayoral hopeful, however, was unrepentant. The photo, along with others in the printed pamphlet (also viewable online), are not meant to imply endorsement, Motkaluk said.
“How exactly should I do that? Should I go to everybody’s house with some whiteout? Like what should I do to remove it from print material that’s out the door?” she told the Free Press when queried Wednesday whether she plans to remove the photo from the document.
On July 27, Pike and another South Osborne group volunteer met with Motkaluk to discuss the association’s concerns about infill development in the neighbourhood. It’s an issue they intended to raise with a number of candidates, Pike said.
“Jenny did a lot of the talking and she seemed sympathetic at the time, but at the end she said, now I hope you’ll endorse me, support me… We said: ‘Well, we have to be a non-partisan group, we have to stay out of that,’” the retiree said.
“Then her (campaign manager) got up and said, ‘You mind if I take a picture?’ And we just thought it was maybe a souvenir and allowed that, but there was no mention of what it was going to be used for at the time, at all.”
When Pike was alerted to her photo’s presence on Page 17 of Motkaluk’s policy brochure, she emailed the campaign to ask it be removed (showing the Free Press the first request sent Sept. 8) — to no response.
“It’s completely degrading, she’s being completely disrespectful,” Pike said. “I would ask her to please show respect and ethics by deleting our image from all her promotional material.”
Motkaluk said her hands are tied on print material already mailed/handed out.
However, she countered, the photo in question has a longer backstory.
“Just to be clear, with Bev and with every other person and organization that I visited with, we asked if we could take a picture, and we didn’t take pictures with people who declined to have a photo,” Motkaluk said, adding she talked with many people over the summer to hear their concerns.
“It was also clear that the photos were for campaign purposes and that photo was published on my social media weeks before the plan for Winnipeg (pamphlet) was printed — and Bev Pike was keenly aware of that,” the mayoral candidate said.
“(The print material is) done and there’s nothing that I can do to change it, and I did have permission from Bev to have a photo, and I did use the photo previously in a digital platform prior to it going to print. Bev was aware of that. If she had had a concern, she should’ve said something.”
Later reached by phone for clarification, Pike said social media was “never mentioned at all.”
Meantime, the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1505, which represents Winnipeg bus operators and mechanics, also appears in Motkaluk’s campaign literature, but isn’t endorsing her.
“(The print material is) done and there’s nothing that I can do to change it, and I did have permission from Bev to have a photo… If she had had a concern, she should’ve said something.”–Jenny Motkaluk
The union issued a news release Sept. 9 to clarify it is backing candidate Glen Murray. It asked Motkaluk to remove a photo and quote from ATU 1505 president Romeo Ignacio from her material that was included without prior knowledge or approval, the union said.
On Wednesday, Motkaluk said that wrinkle is almost exactly the same situation as with Pike.
“I went to visit with the ATU, not for the purpose of securing an endorsement from them and not for the purpose of promising them something that I would deliver them… I went there to hear from them specifically about their concerns for Transit safety,” she said.
“I thought the things that they said were so compelling that they needed to be in my platform, even though they had endorsed an opponent of mine.”
Motkaluk added ATU leaders had asked to take the photo with her, and planned to post it to the union’s social media.
On Aug. 8, ATU 1505 tweeted a photo of Motkaluk with Ignacio and executive vice-president James Van Gerwen.
Erik Pindera reports for the city desk, with a particular focus on crime and justice.