Burnaby South MP and federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh was verbally harassed yesterday (May 10) while leaving a campaign event out east.
Singh was in Peterborough to show support for Jen Deck — NDP candidate for Peterborough-Kawartha — in Ontario's upcoming provincial election slated for June 2.
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. Some held up their middle finger to Singh
Protesters continued to swarm Singh while he worked his way through the crowd to get into a waiting SUV. It's not known if he had security with him.
Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath took to Twitter to condemn the actions of protesters, saying the party and she has their backs.
"So many times I've watched my friend @theJagmeetSingh meet hate with grace — just like he and our candidate Jen Deck did in Peterborough.
"But they shouldn't have to. They deserve to live and work freely, without intimidation.
"Jen and Jagmeet, we've got your back."
When asked about the events by a reporter at a news conference in Ottawa today (May 11), 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."
Peterborough Police said, in a tweet to its account, they weren't aware the NDP leader was in the area.
"It's disheartening to hear as we know most residents are respectful and these few are not reflective of our community," they wrote.