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‘They came to intimidate us’: Calgary MP speaks out following protest outside his home

Anti-vaccine protesters hit the private residence of another Calgary politician over the weekend.

“Yesterday afternoon, a group of protesters demonstrated outside my home while my family and I were inside celebrating my wife’s birthday,” Calgary Skyview MP George Chahal wrote on Twitter Monday morning.

“They came to intimidate us. I have three daughters: 17, 13, and nine. The one place they should always feel safe is at home.”

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responded on the social media site, writing that “this kind of intimidation – against any politician or public servant – is completely unacceptable and inexcusable, and it’s not how disagreements should be voiced in our democracy.”

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A fellow Calgary MP who sits on the other side of the House of Commons agreed with Chahal’s sentiment that a private residence is not the place for protests.

“I agree. Let’s work across party lines to change this — it negatively affects every political stripe and our democracy,” Calgary Nose Hill MP Michelle Rempel Garner tweeted. “Be well and my best to your family.”

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Calgary police said they were made aware of the protest and by the time officers arrived, protesters were already leaving the area.

Anti-vaccine and anti-mask group “Calgary Freedom Central” said it was behind the protest, adding it was trying to protest the mandatory COVID-19 vaccine mandate for truckers.

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On Jan. 22, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security required all Canadians entering the United States to be fully-vaccinated against COVID-19, including at land crossings.

The Liberal government announced in November that all Canadian truckers looking to cross the border from the U.S. would need to be vaccinated in order to avoid a 14-day quarantine, a policy that came into effect on Jan. 15.

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Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has been a vociferous opponent of the vaccine mandate for truckers, calling on the federal government to delay the vaccine and quarantine requirements while citing possible supply chain delays.

After receiving photos of apparently bare shelves in grocery stores, Kenney tweeted that he had been in conversations with U.S. governors who share his concerns.

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“We are working on a joint letter to the president and the prime minister urging them to use common sense, end the policy that has taken thousands of trucks of the road,” Kenney tweeted.

But the majority of truckers have been vaccinated.

“Almost 90 per cent of truckers in Canada are vaccinated,” Trudeau said, speaking to reporters in French on Monday.

“I regret that the Conservative Party and conservative politicians are in the process of stoking Canadians’ fears about the supply chain. The reality is that vaccination is how we’ll get through this.”

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Anti-vaccine and anti-mask protests have also been held at the Calgary homes of Alberta Health Minister Jason Copping, Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek and Ward 9 Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra this month.

–with files from Amy Judd and Rachel Gilmore, Global News, and The Canadian Press.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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