Ottawa satirical magazine ‘Frank’ to publish ‘Charlie Hebdo’ cartoons

A 1999 file photo of 'Frank' editor Michael Bate. Wayne Hiebert / Ottawa Citizen / The Canadian Press

TORONTO — The editor of Canadian satirical magazine Frank called Wednesday’s attack on French publication Charlie Hebdo “unbelievably terrible” and said he will publish the same cartoons that may have sparked the attack.

“We’re going to run a couple of their cartoon covers in solidarity,” Michael Bate told Global News. “We’re going to post one on the homepage and we’ll have them in the print edition.”

Frank also replaced its logo on the website Wednesday with that of Charlie Hebdo.

“We can’t back down,” said Bate. “We’ve got to show solidarity with these guys.”

Frank has been published in Ottawa since 1989 and Bate has been its editor for all but seven years. (There is a separate Halifax-based edition of Frank.)

The magazine has been the target of threats.

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In 1992, then-prime minister Brian Mulroney famously threatened to “take a gun” to the Frank office and do “serious damage” after the magazine published a satirical contest involving Mulroney’s daughter Caroline.

Bate said police were called in after Frank received a bomb threat and, on one occasion, a man showed up at the magazine’s office armed with a starter’s pistol.

But, Bate said he isn’t worried about publishing the controversial cartoons from Charlie Hebdo.

“You can’t walk around in fear,” he said. “You have to get on with it and this is what we do. That’s our role.”

Is anything off-limits in the satirical press?

“No. Why?,” Bate replied. “Everything can be satirized. Anything goes.”

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