People won't stop vandalizing the offices of Ontario politicians
Residents of Ontario are taking out their political frustrations in a rather destructive way lately, with multiple local politicians reporting vandalism at their constituency offices in recent days.
Last week, the front door of the office of Niagara Centre MP Vance Badawey was completely smashed in during daylight hours, after which the Liberal politician tweeted out in frustration.
"I will always work to do what's right, to do my very best to carry out the responsibilities of a Member of Parliament. Today, my community office was vandalized, Unfortunate!" Badawey wrote last Monday evening after detailing the incident, which he said came after "several threatening calls and emails" that prompted him to send his staff home for the day.
"Vandalism, threats, or any form of intimidation, are unacceptable and do not represent the Canada we love. We all value freedom, but not the freedom to attack, to harm, or to cause destruction. We will continue to move forward, together."
The individual briefly shook the door before putting his foot through the lower portion. If anyone has any information about this incidence or recognizes the person involved, please contact the Niagara Regional Police Service at 905 735-7811. /2— Vance Badawey (@VBadawey) February 15, 2022
Then, less than two days later, Progressive Conservative Huron-Bruce MPP and Ontario Minister of Agriculture Lisa Thompson experienced a similar incident, in which red paint was thrown all over the front door of her office.
"I am a strong believer in peaceful protests and debate, but will never tolerate vandalism, intimidation or bullying of my team or our community," she said to CTV News on Wednesday.
Then, two more acts of mischief: one in Scarborough at the door of NDP MPP Doly Begum, who had rocks thrown through her office windows on Saturday morning, and in Mississauga, where a fire was started at the office of Liberal MP Peter Fonseca.
🧵Early morning on Saturday, February 19, our constituency office was attacked. Large rocks were thrown at the office to break through the glass windows.— Doly Begum (@DolyBegum) February 22, 2022
My team and I have worked hard to ensure our office is open and accessible to community members and beyond.
"We have kept our doors open to ensure our office could be an accessible resource for our constituents. It is difficult and shocking to see such a violent act suffered by my team, our office and our community," Begum tweeted after the fact, adding that the office would be remaining closed and staff would be working remotely from here on out.
And, residents seem to find the acts of violence troubling, too, with one person on Twitter calling it "a symptom of incoherent rage" and wondering if anyone is safe, and others demeaning the events.
This is extremely troubling. In Mississauga MPP Peter Fonseca’s office was firebombed overnight. In Scarborough MPP Doly Begum’s office was attacked with rocks last Saturday. This is horrible. Extremists don’t have place in our communities.— Vero.Ramírez she/her (@Vero_R_Cartes) February 23, 2022
Police are investigating the circumstances and motives of all of the incidents, which took place in a string but were obviously not directed at just one party or individual.
In the case of both the fire and the paint, neighbouring businesses were also damaged, at least one of them having to be boarded up.
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