Doug Craig, the incumbent mayor in Cambridge, Ont., has apologized to fellow candidate Kathryn McGarry after a photo taken earlier this year at a pedestrian bridge opening was altered to remove her from it.
McGarry called the modified photo "ridiculous."
The original photo was taken in May, when McGarry was the MPP for Cambridge. Other dignitaries also appear in the image, which was posted to the Elect Doug Craig Instagram account on Aug. 15.
The altered photo substitutes an unknown woman in place of McGarry, although the black shirt they're both wearing appears similar.
The doctored image appeared on Craig's campaign website and James Harris noticed, so he took a screengrab and shared it on a couple of Cambridge-focused Facebook groups.
Harris said he attended the event and the photo didn't match his memory.
"The fact the face was looking at the camera while everyone else in the photo was looking the other direction immediately seemed odd. Since all of our elected officials were at the pedestrian bridge opening, the fact our MPP Kathryn McGarry was missing definitely stuck out," he told CBC K-W.
The image has since been removed from Craig's website.
Craig told CBC K-W he and his campaign team had talked about using the photo on the website, but he did not know there were any plans to alter it.
"I don't know what happened but we've taken it down and we've apologized and we've left it at that. I mean, these things happen during elections — you don't want them to happen and we've certainly reacted and apologized. I mean it shouldn't have happened. Period," Craig said.
"I didn't realize what was going on in terms of cropping it or whatever was going to happen. And I didn't pay attention, to be perfectly honest."
When reached for comment, McGarry said via email, "I reached out to Doug Craig and he has offered me an apology."
In a second email Friday afternoon, McGarry wrote, "I don't know why someone would feel the need to alter this photo. I know his team team is afraid of my campaign, my supporters, and the change we represent, but this is ridiculous." "I think this just re-enforces [sic] 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."