Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has condemned verbal abuse to which Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland was subjected during a visit to Alberta. Trudeau described what happened as “extremely disturbing harassment”, which he said was not an isolated case, BTA reported, referring to Reuters.
“We are increasingly witnessing instances in public life where people in positions of responsibility, especially women, Canadians of other races, people from minorities and diverse communities, are being attacked because of their increasingly loud voices,” Trudeau said in an address. . “We are witnessing a hostile reaction. We have to ask ourselves what kind of country we are and what kind of country we want to be.”
A video of the incident with Freeland was shared on Twitter on Friday evening. In it, she is walking towards an elevator in Grand Prairie City Hall in Alberta, where a man calls out to her. “What the hell are you doing in Alberta?” he says to Freeland as she heads for the elevator. He then calls her a “traitor” and makes a very profanity-laced remark at her. The video has garnered hundreds of thousands of views.
Freeland, who is originally from Alberta, was on a tour of the province to meet with local government, business and labor representatives. Yesterday, she admitted to the incident in a post on Twitter. “What happened yesterday is something that should not happen. No one anywhere should be subjected to threats and intimidation,” she wrote.
Canadian politicians across the spectrum also condemned the verbal attack. The case is another in a series of verbal attacks against women in Canadian public life, including activists and journalists. A group of female reporters has for weeks publicly shared a series of private and anonymous emails they received that contained threats of violence, including sexual, as well as racist and misogynistic language, Reuters noted.