Conservative MP Garnett Genuis has called on the Prime Minister to condemn political violence after news of several incidences of assault against prolife demonstrators.
“It is deeply disturbing to see acts of politically motivate violence taking place in Canada,” the Sherwood Park-Fort Saskatchewan MP wrote in a petition he launched after reports of violence in Toronto.
“Politically motivated violence has no place in this country or anywhere. Without a strong response from the appropriate authorities, violence of this sort can have a chilling effect on public discourse.”
One instance involved an attack on Campaign Life Coalition’s youth coordinator Marie-Claire Bissonnette on Sept. 30 during a peaceful demonstration.
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer also condemned the attack on social media.
“No woman should have to fear for her safety on the streets of Canada because of her personal beliefs,” he said in French. “I strongly condemn this attack, both scandalous and not provoked.”
A man is shown on a video spin-kicking Bissonnette, who alleges he kicked her in the shoulder and knocked her phone to the pavement. The video went viral and prompted news reports internationally.
On Oct. 6, Jordan Hunt, 26, turned himself into Toronto Police. Toronto Police Services has charged him with eight counts of assault and seven counts of mischief for the alleged kick and for allegedly scribbling on the clothing and signs of the demonstrators, and tearing a ribbon off Bissonnette’s clothing.
Toronto Police also charged Hunt with assault in connection with a pro-life demonstration on Aug. 2, when he allegedly tried to grab a demonstrator’s sign and pushed a woman against a pole.
Genuis’ petition also responded to video of an assault posted to Facebook Oct. 5 by Blaise Alleyne of Toronto Against Abortion showing instances pro-lifers getting assaulted on the Ryerson University campus Oct. 1.
“Unfortunately, the attack we faced at Ryerson was only one of many instances of peaceful pro-lifers facing pro-choice violence on a regular basis across the country,” said Alleyne on Facebook. “I was present for three of the assaults in this video.”
“This is just a sampling,” Alleyne said. “I was also assaulted by having a cold drink poured over my head at George Brown College in September, at the same time another man was threatening to beat and/or stab me and my colleagues, including a young woman,” he wrote.
“The man who made the threats was arrested by Toronto Police and charged with threatening assault to cause bodily harm. The man who assaulted me has yet to be identified.”
The Prime Minister has not responded to the calls to condemn political violence.
MPs are in their ridings for the Thanksgiving break and return to the House of Commons on Oct. 15.