‘Cowardly behaviour’: B.C. premier joins other leaders in condemning verbal attack on Chrystia Freeland

'Cowardly behaviour': B.C. premier joins other leaders in condemning verbal attack on Chrystia Freeland

Days after Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland was verbally attacked while getting on an elevator in Grand Prairie, Alta., politicians and leaders across the country are publicly condemning the act.

On Monday, B.C. Premier John Horgan called the profanity-laced video “absolutely cowardly behaviour”.

“The example of Minister Freeland being abused is just the latest example of largely women, but not exclusively women, being abused by people who think they have the right to do that, but they don’t and they should grow up,” Horgan told CHEK News.

At a campaign stop in Nanaimo Sunday, Conservative leadership candidate Pierre Poilievre called the behaviour unacceptable.

“I can relate of course because I’ve been the subject of so much online harassment and abuse. My wife has received so much horrific material directly to her social media accounts that we’ve had to hire a private security firm to protect our family,” he said.

READ MORE: Conservative leadership frontrunner Pierre Poilievre hopeful party can make comeback on Vancouver Island

Victora NDP MP Laurel Collins says she’s also had to do a security assessment and has looked into getting security cameras, especially with a young child at home.

“We’ve experienced threats in our constituency office, I’ve had people threaten to come to my home, these are scary things but this is happening across the board,” Collins said. ” I did notice a distinct increase after the [Freedom] Convoy and it’s really concerning to see that kind of violent rhetoric increase, we need to do everything we can to keep politicians safe, to keep journalists safe, to keep staff safe.”

Experts say American-style populism and polarization has been seeping across the border, made worse by the pandemic.

“In this pandemic era of politics and with the rise of Donald Trump one of the things that’s been set in motion is what we might call an Americanization of politics in Canada,” said David Black, an Associate Professor of Communications and Culture for Royal Roads University.

“Politics becomes everything, it super saturates society and we in Canada have been able to be largely free of that.”

Many worry the increasing harassment will deter young people from putting their names forward for public office.

“This is the thing that dissuades them, it is not only about their own safety but also about the safety of their family,” said Collins.

Horgan has a suggestion for who should put their name forward.

“If that thug in Alberta thinks he can do better than Chrystia Freeland put your name on a ballot dude, see how that goes.”

April LawrenceApril Lawrence

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!