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Calgary police investigating after Liberal door knockers say they were spat on, slapped – Toronto Star

Liberal candidate Sabrina Grover says she “angry” and “upset” over an incident in which two door knockers say they were volunteering for her campaign in Calgary when they were spat on and slapped. Police are investigating.

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By Kieran LeavittEdmonton Bureau

Tue., Sept. 7, 20212 min. read

Police are investigating after Liberal party volunteers say they were slapped and spat on while door knocking in Calgary on Monday — the same day Justin Trudeau was pelted with gravel — as aggression on the federal campaign trail appears to be ratcheting up.

The two door knockers were working their way through a Calgary building, handing out pamphlets in support of Sabrina Grover, the Liberal candidate for Calgary Centre, when they heard someone coming down the stairs toward them, according to posts on Twitter from one of the volunteers, Robert Tremblay.

A man, who had been removing campaign materials from doors, approached the volunteers and slapped the pamphlets out of their hands and a pin off Tremblay’s shirt, Tremblay alleged in a series of tweets.

The man then slapped Tremblay in the face with the campaign materials and spat on them as he walked away, Tremblay said.

Tremblay called it “probably the worst experience I’ve had door knocking while out campaigning” for Grover and the Liberals, adding “this incident will always be in the back of my mind when I recommend someone campaign or knock doors, and that sucks.”

A spokesperson confirmed on Tuesday that Calgary police are investigating the incident.

An interview request for Tremblay sent to the campaign was referred to Grover, who said she was “angry” and “upset” over the incident.

“I’m frustrated that this would ever happen to volunteers in particular. You know, it’s one thing I put my name forward as a candidate, but these are just people who are volunteering their time out on a campaign,” said Grover, a first-time candidate who used to do public policy and advocacy work.

Still, Grover said she’s “not shocked” since tension and heated rhetoric have plagued the election campaign this summer.

“A simple scrolling through my Twitter or Facebook feed will show you that people have been hurling profanities and obscenities at us for weeks,” added Grover.

“Women in politics and female candidates have been experiencing this for years and it’s of no surprise to me that this is happening. We’ve seen it before and we need to call it out.”

On Monday, the same day the two door knockers were targeted in Calgary, Liberal party Leader Trudeau had rocks thrown at him in London, Ont., after a campaign stop was met with a crowd of protesters.

Angry protests at Trudeau campaign stops have become a common fixture this summer. The most recent incident occurred after Trudeau told reporters he would not “back down” in the face of “anti-vaxxer mobs” that have been a persistent presence at Liberal campaign events.

Leaders from all the political parties condemned the violence.

On Tuesday, Conservative party Leader Erin O’Toole called violent conduct “unacceptable towards anyone” and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said that rock throwing was “horrible” and “wrong.”

A Liberal rally planned in Bolton, Ont., on Aug. 27 was also cancelled on the advice of the RCMP when it was felt safety could not be guaranteed.

The Star reported last week that some protesters opposed to mandatory vaccinations and other public health measures have been co-ordinating to disrupt Trudeau’s events, including sharing the Liberal leaders’ daily itinerary.

With files from The Canadian Press and Alex Boutilier


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