Calgary Liberal candidate to involve police after volunteers say they were slapped, spat on

A federal Liberal candidate in Calgary says two of her volunteers were spat on, slapped and sworn at as they campaigned in the Beltline on Monday, the same day party leader Justin Trudeau was hit by gravel thrown by protesters at an event in London, Ont.

Calgary Centre Liberal candidate Sabrina Grover says she and her volunteers are meeting with police Tuesday.

“I was shocked and angry that this happened, but it didn’t take me by surprise,” said Grover in a phone interview with CBC News.

“This is the first time it’s turned violent or turned into assault, but we’ve had several people express their anger with profanity on the doorstep.”

Spitting, slapping, swearing

On Monday, the two men were distributing campaign brochures in a Beltline apartment building when a man ran down the stairs and began swearing at them. 

Robert Tremblay, one of the volunteers, described the interaction in a series of tweets.

Tremblay said an angry man ran down the stairwell and was taking the campaign materials from other residents’ doors.

When the volunteers asked for it back, Tremblay says, the man slapped the pin off his shirt, hit him in the face with the brochures he’d taken and spat on the two as he ran off. 

“This incident will always be in the back of my mind when I recommend someone campaign or knock doors, and that sucks,” wrote Tremblay.

RCMP security detail put their hands up to protect Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau from rocks as protesters shouted and threw gravel on Monday at a campaign stop in London, Ont. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)

Trudeau pelted by gravel 

On Monday, 3,000 kilometres east, angry protesters threw small stones at Trudeau as he boarded a campaign bus in London, Ont. 

The protesters appeared to be against COVID-related public health measures and vaccination requirements.

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole immediately responded on Twitter, calling the incident “disgusting.”

Grover says she has received online support from Calgary Centre NDP and Green Party candidates but has yet to be contacted by incumbent Conservative Greg McLean.

She says she feels the “hyper vitriol and hyper anger” has been building over the years.

“I think that it is being driven by the right, and I don’t think we can be surprised that it’s happening today,” said Grover.

“It’s important that candidates and politicians and political parties on all sides condemn interactions like this and that in their own actions they’re promoting positivity and promoting a better Canada. And I think at the end of the day we see this happening because what I just described is not happening by all parties.”

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