Calls for his death were thrown at Singh, atop ‘traitors’ chants, by protesters during a stop in Peterborough

Federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh said protesters shouted “terrible” things – including calls for his death – as he left a rally outside Ontario NDP candidate Jen Deck’s campaign office in central Peterborough on Tuesday, and that this kind of polarization in politics must stop.

“Some people said, ‘I hope you die,’ and things like that. Lots of aggression and violence in terms of behavior, attitude,” Singh told reporters at a news conference in Ottawa on Wednesday.

“It was very aggressive, very violent. It was very tense.”

Among the protesters were some who have been candid at rallies and online about their objections to COVID-19 health measures such as vaccines.

Protesters on the sidewalk shouted “Traitor!” and “Not welcome!” when Singh left the office to a waiting SUV in George Street after the rally.

Singh told reporters in Ottawa on Wednesday that “it would be one of the worst experiences of his career.”

Some protesters called “traitor” at federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh on Tuesday afternoon after he expressed support for Peterborough-Kawartha NDP candidate Jen Deck at her campaign office on George Street in central Peterborough.

  • Some protesters shouted Tuesday afternoon
  • Some protesters shouted Tuesday afternoon

He was not injured in the incident.

He added that he is fine with people protesting any event he attends.

“But I just don’t think this is what we want our politics to evolve into,” he said. “It shouldn’t be about these kinds of threats and that kind of aggression.”

It’s good for people to be “passionate” about their communities, Singh continued, and express their anger at policy changes that they think will hurt them.

“It’s all part of a good democracy. People should be able to express that,” he says.

“But obviously we don’t want people to go to the point of wishing someone death as a way of expressing their point of view on a matter of politics, a matter of policy, or a law…. We don’t want such a thing.” a society.”

Videos surfaced on social media showing Singh leaving the rally – which he described as “a beautiful event” – and people shouting at him that he is a traitor to Canada.

Many used foul language and gestures.

Peterborough police were not called to the scene on Tuesday – they were not aware of Singh’s visit, but they said they reached Singh on Wednesday.

“It’s disheartening to hear as we know most residents are respectful and these few are not a reflection of our community,” Acting Head Tim Farquharson said via email and on Twitter.

Peterborough-Kawartha MP Michelle Ferreri told The Examiner she has “great respect” for all candidates – and that she was glad Singh had visited her “beautiful” horse.

“I will always encourage respectful protest and I do not condone hate speech and violence in any form,” she said in a message.

“The reality is that many Canadians are deeply upset and hurt by the NDP-Liberal coalition and feel passionately about the current political climate – but berating is not a solution. Join the party you want to support and support the candidate you want to see win.”

Deck said her only concern on Tuesday had been that the protest could upset her campaign team members; meanwhile, she said she later learned that the campaign team had feared the protest would deter their candidate.

Deck takes part in the June 2 Peterborough-Kawartha provincial election against progressive Conservative incumbent Dave Smith, Greg Dempsey (Liberal), Robert Gibson (Green Party), Tom Marazzo (Ontario Party), Rebecca Quinnell (New Blue Party) and Dylan Smith (None of the above parties).

On Wednesday, Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath expressed support for both Singh and Deck.

“I’ve seen so many times how my friend Jagmeet Singh met hate with grace – just like he and our candidate Jen Deck did in Peterborough,” Horwath said.

‘But it shouldn’t. They deserve to live and work freely, without harassment. Jen and Jagmeet, we’re behind you.”

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