NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh issued a statement after being harassed at an Ontario election campaign event in Peterborough, Ont.
"To those who have asked, I'm in Chardi Kala - rising spirits," Singh's statement reads. "I want to especially say to the people of Peterborough - I have visited many times and I know your community is filled with good people who want the best for out society."
Sadly, polarization and disinformation are real dangers to our society. While disagreements are fundamental to a thriving democracy - hatred, violence and wishing death upon others threaten it. Politicians must remember the consequences when they stoke fear and division. When hate is given space to grow, it spreads like wild fire. That is why we must always confront it - giving it no space to take hold, no room to grow.Jagmeet Singh, New Democratic Party leader
Videos posted online show protesters shouting expletives at Singh as he left the campaign office for local Ontario NDP candidate Jen Deck, and individuals holding up their middle finger at the window of Singh's vehicle.
Peterborough Police Service has stated that it is "actively investigating" the incident.
"Anyone seeing the video should find it disheartening, morally unacceptable, and lacking the respect each resident and visitor deserves," Peterborough Police Acting Chief Tim Farquharson said in a video. "To those involved in this incident and other forms of harassment, intimidation and... hate incidents and hate crimes in the communities we police, your actions and belief systems are reprehensible, unconscionable, and in some cases, criminal."
Canadians, including politicians, have also taken to social media to respond to what happened to Singh in Peterborough.
The harassment directed towards @theJagmeetSingh outside a campaign event is appalling. This is not how we express our disagreements in Canada. We can have vigorous debates but insults and harassment are unacceptable.https://t.co/yANR8o8Oys
— Omar Alghabra (@OmarAlghabra) May 12, 2022
Disgusted by the hate hurled at @theJagmeetSingh . The far right in our country must be stopped. The Conservatives who continue to fan the flames of the of hate must be held to account. https://t.co/DBsV574i2J
— Niki Ashton (@nikiashton) May 12, 2022
PLS RT: If you are not embarrassed and outraged #PTBO you are not paying attention. Keep asking the @PtboPolice where they were yesterday for 1 hour and 15 minutes while this was happening on George Street. WHERE were they? https://t.co/hLE9wEAK1a
— Jeannine Taylor (@wiredwoman) May 11, 2022
Sorry to see this @theJagmeetSingh. No place for this kind of abuse and intimidation in Canadian politics.
— Michael Levitt 🇨🇦 (@LevittMichael) May 12, 2022
As a Peterborough resident I’ll lead the parade to welcome you back, please excuse our freedom fringe, they haven’t figured out that their freedoms impinge on others and they haven’t taken responsibility for it, it’s still a great town
— D Cronin (@DCronin2) May 12, 2022