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Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland addresses a crowd at the Empire Club of Canada in Toronto, Thursday, June 16, 2022.Cole Burston/The Canadian Press

Police say they are aware of an incident in which Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland was verbally harassed by a man in Alberta.

A widely circulated video of the confrontation on Friday shows a man walk toward Ms. Freeland and two other women, who were waiting in the lobby of the Grande Prairie City Hall. The man yells “Chrystia!” When Ms. Freeland replies “yes,” he hurls profanities at her, calling her a “traitor,” while a woman walking by his side says “you don’t belong here.”

The man is subsequently seen shouting more profanities at Ms. Freeland as she and the women who were accompanying her enter the elevator. Later, the man is shown being escorted out of the building by two other men.

On Saturday, the RCMP Grande Prairie detachment said they have watched the video but declined to comment further.

According to Ms. Freeland’s itinerary, she was in Alberta to meet with local farmers and discuss the importance of Canadian agriculture and global food security. At the time she was confronted, she was preparing to meet with Grande Prairie Mayor Jackie Clayton.

Ms. Freeland appeared to have no security detail during the incident. Cabinet ministers do not generally receive protection from the RCMP, but it can be arranged under warranted circumstances. Her office did not respond to a request for comment on Saturday.

Meanwhile, politicians from all sides took to social media on Saturday to condemn the incident.

Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino tweeted that harassment, intimidation and threatening conduct should have no place in Canada.

“This kind of behaviour needs to be called out and condemned by everyone, regardless of political affiliation, he said.

National Defence Minister Anita Anand tweeted that she was “appalled by the threats and intimidation” directed at Ms. Freeland.

“We’ve all run for office to promote dialogue on important public policy issues, and harassment like this cannot be tolerated,” she wrote.

Jean Charest, Conservative Party leadership candidate and former Quebec premier, called it “dangerous behaviour” that “cannot be normalized,” and called on every political leader to condemn the harassment.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney called the incident “reprehensible,” on Twitter, adding “if you disagree with a politician, by all means exercise your right to protest. But screaming threatening language & physical intimidation cross the line.”

Former deputy Conservative leader Lisa Raitt said she felt a knot in her stomach when she watched the video, worried that the man would follow Ms. Freeland into the elevator.

“Physical intimidation is not a form of Democratic expression,” she tweeted.

Former Liberal environment minister Catherine McKenna, who had received additional security for certain events during her time in office, called on all party leaders to condemn the incident and commit to enhanced security for elected officials.

With a report from The Canadian Press

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