09.22.2011 05:02 PM

Police, firefighters condemn NDP’s Andrea Horwath

Statement by Ontario Professional Fire Fighters Association President Fred LeBlanc

TORONTO, Sept. 22, 2011 /CNW/ – Today I became aware of the following comments made by Ontario NDP candidate Anthony Marco about Ontario fire fighters.

As a 26 year professional fire fighter and President of the over 11,000 professional fire fighters across Ontario, I am deeply insulted by this quote and ideology. Our members put their lives on the line every day to protect our communities and the citizens of Ontario, including Mr. Marco.

Far too many have paid the ultimate sacrifice. On October 2nd, 24 more names will be added to the Ontario Fallen Firefighters Memorial at Queens Park.

Doctors, fire fighters, and police officers, are everyday heroes and I am not ashamed to say it.

I am shocked that this type of rhetoric is coming from a candidate and I hope that this is not a shared view within the New Democratic Party.

Anthony Marco, NDP Candidate, lovehatethings.com, November 2010:

“There are a lot of very honourable, very righteous, very heroic people who die on a daily basis for what they believe in. And I think we throw the term ‘hero’ around a little bit too loosely these days. I think we need to really tie it a lot more to a belief system, as opposed to a job. I’m tired of hearing, and no offense to doctors or firefighters or policemen, but automatically calling occupations as heroic, I’m tired of hearing about that. Doing your job isn’t necessarily heroic, there can be heroic elements in there. There can be, but there doesn’t have to be. You don’t automatically become a hero just because you put on a uniform of some sort or have a title before or after your name.”

***

Police Personnel Insulted by Candidate’s Comments

TORONTO, Sept. 22, 2011 /CNW/ – As thousands of police personnel members of Ontario’s Police Services travel toOttawa to participate in the Canadian Police Memorial, honouring those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their fellow citizens, we are deeply troubled at the remarks of Anthony Marco, NDP candidate.

Police officers face life and death issues every single day.  In each and every duty, however routine, police duties are fraught with peril.  Officer Garrett Styles of York Region, one of those we honour Sunday in Ottawa, is the most recent Ontario example.

Firefighters have been similarly dismissed by Mr. Marco, as have doctors who face different challenges, but are no less brave.  This lack of understanding is beyond us.

Our membership is insulted at the continued inclusion of Anthony Marco on the NDP ticket.


27 Comments

  1. Dave Wells says:

    He’s “deeply insulted”? Seems somewhat thin skinned if you ask me. I think the kid does have a point though. When the word ‘hero’ is used as often as it is today it does diminish the value of the word.

    • Joe the Guy says:

      I dont think so, but I somewhat agree. The person who runs into a house on fire to rescue another is a hero. The person that faces a violent offender with a weapon is a hero. The person who goes to war and faces gunfire is a hero.

      However…and it does pain me to say this.., a person that was merely admired because of a noble task they had done is not a hero.

  2. Michael Bussiere says:

    Well…….my dear late dad, a 32-year veteran of a police force, retired as a Deputy Chief, veteran of the Royal Canadian Navy, used to say exactly the same thing. A hero is an individual who jumps into a situation without regard for their own lives in order to save another. A police officer is an individual who volunteers to serve, make sacrifices, risk his life if necessary, but an individual who chooses a life of service.
    That being said, this blowhard is a royal idiot who can’t control his own distain or blabbermouth. And yes, my father would be insulted.
    We police families truly belong to a bigger family, and I suppose it’s the old argument about who exactly can get away with insulting a member of the family.

    • mark says:

      More factory workers, forestry workers, and farmworkers die while providing a service to the community than do police officers. To suggest that police officers are automatically heroes because of their jobs is B.S. The only insult here is the fake story about Marco. He is absolutely correct in his sentiments. Police and firefighters deserve our respect for taking on jobs that are hazardous but as has been shown lately many police are not much better than the criminal element that they are supposed to fighting. Not heroes!

      • Joe the Guy says:

        Respectfully disagree. A hero is one who knowingly enters and otherwise dangerous and potentially deadly situation in order to protect the safety of others.

        By using your definition of what a hero is, we all would be because each one of us has the potential to die from anything during the course of our work.

  3. sharonapple88 says:

    That Anthony Marco… making friends and charming people whenever he goes.

  4. pete says:

    I actually don’t disagree with those remarks — the term “hero” is thrown around way too much. All the guy said was that just being a cop or firefighter doesn’t automatically make you a hero. What’s so objectionable about that? You really believe a cop tasked with, say, sitting an intersection waiting to ticket people for making illegal left-hand turns between 7 and 9am is a “hero”?

    It’s also a bit crass that the firefighters and police are the ones in an uproar here: “how DARE you say we’re not heros?” I guess they stopped teaching humility at the police academy.

  5. David Priebe says:

    The way I understand it, the term “hero” is more frequently applied to individuals rather than groups, such as occupations. I also understand that the police, fire fighters, and EMS staff frequently bristle at which group is the more heroic. Having raised four children, I understand how everyday duties, such as parenting, can be heroic. All said and done, election campaigns may not be the best times to discuss the nuanced meaning of heroism. But why the focus on an NDP candidate who doesn’t have the slightest chance of being elected? What are the Liberal and Conservative candidates with the least chance of being elected saying? They too lack adult supervision.

  6. frmr disgruntled Con now happy Lib says:

    It would appear the only “hero” Mr. Marco believes in is a sandwich…….

  7. J B says:

    Mr. Marco and others of his ilk could never and would never walk a mile in my shoes or those of my brother and sister officers. In one regard he is right. Police, firefighters and doctors as well as military, search and rescue, nurses and many others chose a life of service to better our fellow citizens. Marco’s life of service is to himself and other like minded liberal politicians who believe it is their destiny to lead the huddled masses while sucking at the teat of the public purse.

    God, self righteous asses like Marco make me sick. Last time I went to a call of gunfire taking place I remember seeing people like Marco running the other way. What a coward.

    Mr. Marco, do the honourable thing and quit.

    Sorry, I didn’t think, you know nothing of honour.

    • Pat says:

      “like minded liberal politicians” – wait… what? Do you think that by being liberal or even centrist people give up the ability to respect the contribution that firefighters and police officers make to society? That’s a little offensive.

      This is an individual thing. Being a conservative doesn’t give you exclusive right to be supportive of our military or protective services professionals. I worked – briefly – in a fire department and I got overloaded with that type of crap. “Only the conservatives really care about us”. It’s ridiculous. You can support the troops, and not support wars or the expansion of the military. You can support firefighters and police officers, but not the needless growing of fire and police budgets.

  8. Mark Dewdney says:

    Mr. Marco is ignoring one simple fact – when that cop or firefighter signed on, they agreed to die for you if it was needed.
    If that’s not heroic, I don’t know what is.

    • Pat says:

      They SAID they would die for you. What makes a hero is the willingness to actually do it. A firefighter who doesn’t respond to fires isn’t automatically a hero because he/she is a firefighter – they are a hero when they decide to run into that burning building. Until they make that decision – the type of decision that none of us would make – they aren’t heroes.

  9. T-Roy says:

    I didn’t see too many police that I would refer to as a hero at the G20. The titled should be earned and not handed to you with a pay cheque.

    The word use to have meaning but has been cheapened by the right wing much like they’ve done with the concept of democracy.

    And I don’t vote NDP.

  10. Pat says:

    Man… this guy really shoots himself in the foot by producing totally incoherent rants – even when he has a point. Being a police officer or firefighter doesn’t automatically make you a hero – but many of the things these people do are heroic. It takes a hero to run into a burning building to save lives, or to confront a perp who may be armed to the teeth. They are heroes because only heroes would do that type of work. BUT, if you are calling a cop a hero just for wearing the uniform, then you are seriously diluting the meaning of the word “hero”. That OPP officer that sits on the 402 every morning waiting for speeders shouldn’t automatically be considered a hero. Nor should those firefighters who never really respond to an actual fire. I mean, by driving approximately 225km each day for work (London – Sarnia – London) I am probably putting myself at more risk than most police officers (dangerous drivers – there’s a lot of those, weather conditions, wild animals, etc) – but I’m not a hero, nor would I ever suggest I am.

    That doesn’t mean that some cops and firefighters aren’t heroes, it just means that they aren’t automatically heroes for putting on the uniform.

  11. Jim Hayes says:

    I don’t think I have read such self-righteous crap in a long time.

    Police and Fire Fighters are ordinary human beings who have chosen to perform extraordinary work. There are not many of us out there who would don a police or firefighter uniform to protect society. And we sure know it aint for the money.

    Are they perfect, of course not, but they are heros and deserve much more respect than some yahoos here who wish to diminish and degrade their work. My guess is when they are in need of a police officer or firefighter they may begin to think differently.

    As for Mr. Marco, this began with his comments lcomparing Nazi ideology to the world’s faiths and using that linkage to condone a murderous cult of racism and genocide. We have quickly lost sight, given the news cycle, that this man and his leader, Andrea Horwath, who supports him, in effect put salve on Nazi horrors. Mr. Farber had the guts to call him out on this and there were those who then tried to make Farber the villain of the piece. Seems Farber had this guy figured out from the beginning.

    Marco should step down and if Horwath continues to sponsor his beliefs her Party needs to think very seriously about her own conduct.

  12. Ted H says:

    I agree that the term “hero” is overused, but also, that heroic deeds are performed daily by individuals both in and out of uniform. For someone seeking elected office, it was a stupid debate to start.

  13. hitfan says:

    I am ex-military. I joined the military to get an education, and for a paycheck. I never saw combat, however. I don’t feel particularly heroic for what I did, though I did take pride in the fact that I served my country in some way.

    I’m not at all offended by Anthony Marco’s comments, he even qualified his remarks by stating that many police officers and firemen can be heroic at times. But his point was that, if everyone is a hero, then nobody is a hero. There are corrupt and flawed human beings who are in the military, police and fire services. Most men, human beings are not angels. Many of them would stab you in the back, if given the chance.

    The unquestioned reverence that we confer onto people in those professions leads to abuses of power. It’s easy for conservatives to use the public’s desire for greater “law and order” to trample on civil liberties or for politicians to twist some computer blogger’s words for their own benefit (a blogger who has no chance of winning, anyway).

    “Support the troops” stickers are nice, but I don’t like this belief to be abused to support the neocons’ foreign wars.

    The police and fire services associations are manufacturing outrage over nothing. Anthony Marco is not the Devil Incarnate.

  14. catherine says:

    Marco does not seem to like people very much – whether it is blasting parents, referring to their children with profanities, putting down those who spend their life trying to erode bigotry, getting sick of the use of hero, … Lots of things in this world to get sick of, but the fact that some may bestow some special gratitude toward police, firefighters and doctors as a whole, whether any one specific individual is deserving, or not, just seems mean-spirited and petty.

    I reserve a special respect for teachers of young children. Do they all deserve it? Well, Marco makes it clear that the answer is no. However, Marco’s rants aren’t going to change my overall respect for grade school teachers as a whole.

    Is he really 42? Difficult to believe. He comes across as so immature. If I were Horwath, I would want to distance myself from this man.

    • Pat says:

      You know what is really weird? I always saw the NDP as the positive party… you know… the party that didn’t have a hope in hell, but was still going to dream big about how great Canada could be if we all cared a little more and paid a bit more in taxes. Jack Layton was that guy. Jack always seemed positive, even when he was ridiculing other parties he seemed positive. This guys it ridiculously negative… how is he not a conservative. Based on the stuff he says, everything is wrong – the rapture is coming!

  15. mark Warburton says:

    I guess the cop that shot the kid in the face with a tazer is a hero.

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