Deputy PM Freeland verbally attacked in Alberta; politicians condemn abuse

By News Staff

Politicians are condemning the man who verbally harassed Canada’s deputy prime minster while she visited Alberta on Friday.

An interaction caught on video and shared widely online shows a man insulting and berating Chrystia Freeland at city hall in Grande Prairie, Alta.

“What the (expletive) are you doing in Alberta” the man shouts while Freeland, who was born in Peace River, Alta., can be seen waiting for an elevator.

She then gets into the elevator, and the shouting continue.

“Get the (expletive) out of this province,” the bearded man wearing a white sleeveless shirt and ball cap says.

He twice calls her a traitor while standing in front of the elevator doors.

Video of interaction available here (warning: video contains strong language).

The short 14-second video was shared Friday on Twitter by the account @wopizza.

In a slightly longer video of the interaction posted to TikTok, a woman can be heard telling Freeland “you don’t belong here” and “go ahead and hide.”

Canada’s deputy PM issued a statement Saturday evening, saying what happened in Grande Prairie was “wrong.” She posted the statement alongside a photo of her and her family in Alberta.

“Nobody, anywhere, should have to put up with threats and intimidation,” she wrote.

“But the Alberta I know is filled with kind and welcoming people, and I’m grateful for the warm welcome I’ve received from so many people in Edmonton, Grande Prairie and Peace River over the past few days. One unpleasant incident yesterday doesn’t change that.”

Freeland added she is a proud Albertan and looks forward to keep returning to the “great province.”


Politicians in Alberta and across Canada voiced their support for Freeland as the video began circulating online.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney called the harassment and threats “reprehensible.”

“If you disagree with a politician, by all means exercise your right to protest,” Kenney tweeted. “But screaming threatening language & physical intimidation cross the line.

“@cafreeland, you know that our governments have a lot of serious disagreements. But you’re always more than welcome to come and visit us here in the province where you grew up & your family lives! As are all Canadians.”

Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley intimated the incident could have larger repercussions on the political scene.

“The harassment and intimidation of Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland and her staff yesterday in Alberta was disgusting and unacceptable,” Notley tweeted.

“This incident will discourage good people, namely women, from entering public office.”

Former environment minister Catherine McKenna said politicians of all stripes needed to condemn the man’s vulgar tirade.

“All party leaders should do joint press conference to call out attack on Chrystia Freeland and other politicians & commit to enhanced security for all now,” tweeted McKenna.

“We need to be proactive in defence of elected representatives. Other countries made this choice too late – after tragedies.”

Federal conservative leadership candidate Jean Charest called the interaction “gross intimidation” and “dangerous behaviour.”

Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino tweeted: “There is absolutely no place in our country for the harassment, intimidation and threatening conduct that @cafreeland and her staff were subjected to last night.”

Freeland has yet to comment on the incident.

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