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Burnaby South MP, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh condemns harassment of Chrystia Freeland in Alberta

Singh called the incident "alarming and wrong" after the deputy prime minister was verbally attacked in Grande Prairie.
Burnaby South MP and NDP leader Jagmeet Singh (left) and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland (right).

Jagmeet Singh says the targeted harassment against Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland is alarming and wrong. 

The Burnaby South MP and federal NDP leader posted his reaction to the Alberta incident, saying the growing number of incidents targeting female journalists, politicians and their staff are "alarming." 

"The verbal assault of Deputy PM Freeland and her staff is alarming and wrong," Singh wrote on Sunday (Aug. 28). 

"The growing number of incidents targeting women journalists, politicians and their staff - are alarming. I want my daughter - and all women - to know they belong everywhere. I know Canadians do too." 

In a video posted online, a man and woman approached Freeland and staff members as they waited to get into an elevator in the lobby of a building in Grande Prairie, Alta. 

The man calls Freeland by name, to which she responds "Yes?" 

He then hurls numerous profanities at Freeland, and calls her a "traitor" while saying she doesn't belong in the province. 

While she's the MP for the Toronto riding of University—Rosedale, Freeland was born in Peace River, Alta.

The federal finance minister took to social media the day after the incident, saying she was going to keep coming back despite the verbal attack, saying one unpleasant incident won't change how she feels about Albertans. 

"What happened yesterday (Aug. 26) was wrong," she wrote. 

"Nobody, anywhere, should have to put up with threats and intimidation." 

Singh harassed at May Ontario campaign event

Canadian politicians from all parties have spoken out in the past few days over the verbal harassment of Freeland, including Singh and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Back in May, Singh was in Peterborough to show support for Jen Deck — NDP candidate for Peterborough-Kawartha — in Ontario's June 2 provincial election. 

In videos circulating on social media, protesters can be heard saying "You're a traitor" and "You're a piece of s--t," while others told him to go "f--k himself" as Singh was leaving.

Protesters continued to swarm Singh while he worked his way through the crowd to get into a waiting SUV.

When asked about the events by a reporter at a news conference in Ottawa the next day, Singh added the small group of protesters said "some really horrible things" and believes people should be able to disagree without it reaching a certain level.

"Some folks were saying, 'I hope you die,' and things along with that nature. A lot of aggression and violence in terms of behaviour and demeanor," he explained.

"We should be able to disagree. We can disagree vehemently about a policy, about a decision, about the impacts of that decision on one's family or community, those are important things. But when it gets to this level, it doesn't help in making better decisions [and] it doesn't help our communities feel safer."

The actions of the protesters were investigated by Peterborough Police, but no criminal charges were laid. 

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