Nude Harper painting out of tribunal's jurisdiction -

Nude Harper painting out of tribunal’s jurisdiction

TORONTO – A complaint filed over a painting of Prime Minister Stephen Harper in the buff has been dismissed.


TORONTO – A complaint filed over a painting of Prime Minister Stephen Harper in the buff has been dismissed.

The Ontario Human Rights Tribunal has ruled it had no jurisdiction to hear the complaint lodged against the Kingston Frontenac Public Library for displaying the unauthorized nude depiction of Harper.

Curtis Stewart of St. Albert, Alta., had made the application last May, arguing his rights were infringed when the library chose to display the risque painting as part of a local art show.

The tribunal notified Stewart of its decision on June 19, and gave him a month to respond.

He did not and the complaint is now considered as abandoned.

The large oil on canvas painting drew controversy when it was unveiled last May.

Titled Emperor Haute Couture, it shows a smiling, unclothed Harper reclined on a chaise lounge with a dog by his feet and a woman in business attire offering him a Tim Hortons cup on a silver platter.

Margaret Sutherland, the Kingston, Ont.-based artist responsible for the piece, has said the painting is supposed to convey a message about her discontent over the government’s decision to eliminate the long-form census and several prison farms.

“It was sort of a culmination of some general frustrations of the federal government’s policies and what they were telling us,” she told media at the time.

“The political message is to look for yourself and don’t necessarily believe the party line.”

The painting’s title is also supposed to be a satirical take on the “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” a children’s story by Hans Christian Anderson about a vain king who wears no clothes because he believes his new suit is invisible to those unfit to see it.

It has since been sold to an unnamed private buyer for $5,000.

Phone calls to Stewart and Sutherland were unreturned Saturday.

The tribunal released its final decision Sept. 19.

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Nude Harper painting out of tribunal’s jurisdiction

  1. Good news is artist Sutherland sold the piece of sh-t so now she can get off welfare

    • I think she agrees with your assessment that Harper is a piece of sh-t, however I appreciate that she chose a less vulgar way to express herself.

    • Are you 100% certain that Sutherland is/was on welfare?

      • Why is it in Canada artists are usually government funded through Canada Council grants,same thing

        • Ahh, she got a grant.

          How much money did she get from Canada Council over the last 5, or even 10 years?

          • Hopefully less than Margie Gillis. Cue, arm movements

          • Does this mean that you don’t actually know if Sutherland got a Canada Council grant?

            And in a more general vein, in your estimation what other types of government expenditures are essentially equivalent to welfare payments?

          • Anything to artsy-fartsy types who are incapable of earning a living with their talent or lack there of. Nothing wrong with giving arts groups a starter grant but those who have made government funding their occupation need to be cut off the federal teat

          • So is Sutherland someone who got a grant to get started, someone who continues to rely on grants, or someone who made it on her own all along?

            Similar question applies to Gillis, I suppose.

            And you’ve got no concerns about other transfers to other types of individuals (other than the long-term artsy-fartsy types)? It would be quite awesome if that was the only thing that is wrong with government spending.

  2. Good for you WilcoxPass for holding brianmouland accountable for his fantasy commentary.

    I do have a question though.. why is some ‘citizen’ in central northern Alberta complaining about a painting in a public library in Kingston Ontario? I know from experience he is looking at a @2000km commute to return books. His rights were infringed???

    Try a local library next time Stewart, I am sure there is one somewhere in Alberta and it may even be less traumatizing to you.