Cambridge mayor apologizes for doctored photo
Cambridge mayor and incumbent candidate Doug Craig is apologizing to political rival candidate Kathryn McGarry after an altered photo removing McGarry appeared on his campaign website.
The digitally doctored image removed McGarry from a lineup of politicians attending the official opening of the Cambridge pedestrian bridge last May.
McGarry, who attended the event as then-Cambridge and North Dumfries MPP and transportation minister, was digitally replaced by another woman wearing a similar black shirt, looking in the same direction toward the camera.
The electronically modified photo didn’t escape the attention of some local residents, including Cambridge’s James Harris, who noticed the image didn’t jibe with his own memories of the opening ceremony.
The fake photo was saved as screenshots and posted to local Facebook groups before it could be taken down from Craig’s website.
When asked for comment by the Times, Craig said he didn’t know how it happened, but assured it shouldn’t have happened, and shouldered the blame.
“When these things happen, they’re 100 per cent my responsibility,” he said. “Regardless of the team, and I’ve got a great team working for me, this is my responsibility. I should have picked up on it and I didn’t. And I do apologize publicly, and I have apologized to Kathryn for it.”
In a statement to the media, McGarry said her team was alerted to the photo Friday morning via Facebook.
“I don’t know why someone would feel the need to alter this photo,” she told the Times.
“I know his team is afraid of my campaign, my supporters, and the change we represent, but this is ridiculous.”
A representative from her campaign maintains McGarry waited for a call from the mayor but ended up calling him first.
“I think this just re-enforces the fact that we need a change at city hall. People are disappointed in this administration and shenanigans like this is another example of how people in Cambridge deserve better.”
In the past, Craig and McGarry had spoken highly of one another regarding municipal and provincial partnerships, especially when it came to advocating for improvements for Cambridge, including GO Transit.
It came as a surprise to Craig, however, when McGarry threw her hat in the ring to run against him for the mayor’s chair in the October election, after she lost her MPP seat in the June provincial election.
Since her announcement to run, tension has developed between the two, an observation that became clear as a heated sparring match ensued during a recent Rogers Cable televised debate.
During the debate, Craig responded to attacks from McGarry criticizing his leadership as dismissive toward the community’s concerns by accusing her of giving GO Transit priority to Kitchener over Cambridge during her tenure as Ontario transit minister.
A photo at left with former MPP and mayoral candidate Kathryn McGarry. Right, the fake one where she was replaced with another woman.