Aug 29, 2022

By Jane Brown

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A number of current and former Canadian politicians are condemning the incident in Grande Prairie, Alberta this past Friday when Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland was verbally harassed while she was entering City Hall there.

(Still image from video showing man verbally harassing Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland in Alberta on Aug. 26, 2022. Credit: Twitter/@wopizza)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke about it Sunday during an announcement in Ottawa on funding for an action plan to support LGBTQ communities.

“Threats, violence, intimidation of any kind are always unacceptable. And this kind of cowardly behaviour threatens and undermines our democracy and our values of openness and respect upon which Canada was built,” Trudeau explained.

The prime minister also said what Freeland faced is not isolated and is being seen with increasing frequency by people in public life, particularly women and minorities.

Former Trudeau Cabinet Minister Catherine McKenna says this should not be a politicized debate because it’s just wrong.

“I remember when I spoke up and some people said, ‘what you can’t take it?’ Ya guess what, I can take it but it’s not okay. I don’t want women, I don’t want racialized Canadians, members of the LGBTQ+ community, indigenous Canadians to think they can’t go into politics because they think they’re going to have to stand against this,” McKenna detailed.

A weekly panelist on Zoomer Radio’s Fight Back with Libby Znaimer, former Deputy Conservative Leader Lisa Raitt has posted online that she felt a knot in her stomach when she watched the video (of the harassment) and was worried the man would follow Freeland.

Raitt goes on to say physical intimidation is not a form of democratic expression.

Michelle Rempel Garner is a current Conservative MP and describes online the hot, sick feeling of being trapped, of not knowing where to run if it escalates and of being confronted by someone hostile and physically larger.

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