Politicians condemn harassment of Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland

Current and former politicians from across the Canadian political spectrum are condemning an incident in Alberta in which a man appeared to verbally address Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland on Friday.

A 14-second video posted to Twitter by an account that voices opposition to COVID-19 public health measures shows Freeland entering an elevator as a tall man approaches her, hurling profanities and calling her » traitor ».

The man stands in front of the open elevator doors and tells Freeland to get out of Alberta, while a woman says, « You don’t belong here. »

Freeland had posted photos on social media on Friday showing his meeting with Jackie Clayton, the mayor of Grand Prairie, Alta., northwest of Edmonton.

Former Conservative Party deputy leader Lisa Raitt posted on Twitter that she felt a knot in her stomach when she watched the video, fearing the man would follow Freeland into the lift, and the Former Liberal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna replied that she felt the same way.

McKenna, who had been given extra security for some events during her tenure, called on « all party leaders » to hold a joint press conference to condemn what she described as an « attack » on Freeland and commit to strengthen the security of elected officials.

Cabinet Ministers generally do not receive RCMP protection, but this can be arranged if circumstances warrant. A number of politicians and pundits took to social media after the Grand Prairie incident to question whether additional security should become more common.

Michelle Rempel Garner, a former federal cabinet minister in Stephen Harper’s government and current Conservative MP for Calgary, also responded to Raitt, describing « the searing, sickly feeling of being trapped…not knowing where to run if the going gets tough. » makes it worse, to be confronted by someone hostile and physically bigger than you.

Many Liberal MPs have expressed support for Freeland, including Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino, who tweeted that the harassment, bullying and threatening behavior should be « condemned by all, regardless of political affiliation ». .

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney also posted on Twitter that the « verbal harassment and threats » directed at Freeland were « reprehensible. »

“You know our governments have a lot of serious disagreements. But you are always more than welcome to come and visit us here in the province where you grew up (and) where your family lives,” Kenney wrote to Freeland.

Jean Charest, the former Quebec premier who is in the running to become the federal Conservative leader, condemned the incident as « gross intimidation ». He posted a tweet calling it « dangerous behavior » that « cannot be normalized ».

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on August 27, 2022.

The Canadian Press


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