Catherine McKenna shaken and angry after office vandalized with vulgar slur
An angry and shaken Catherine McKenna addressed the media today after a misogynistic word was spray-painted on the window at her campaign headquarters.
The re-elected Liberal MP for Ottawa Centre vowed that hateful vitriol won't chase her or any woman out of politics. Ottawa Police are involved in the investigation to find out who did this but McKenna suggests we all need to play a part in challenging this hate and changing the channel on it.
A shaken but determined Catherine McKenna arrived at her campaign headquarters Thursday morning, just briefly glancing at the hateful message directed at her, before launching into an impassioned plea for civility.
“We've just been through a divisive campaign with a lot of negative rhetoric,” she said, her voice shaking, “This is really beneath us as Canadians. I'm really angry and disappointed.”
McKenna talked about the women working on her campaign, young women and older women and what message it sends to them.
“This isn't about me; it's about what kind of politics we want in our country. That someone would do this, I don't have words to describe what kind of person would do this,” McKenna said, “It's the same as the trolls on Twitter. It needs to stop.”
This isn't the first time McKenna has seen this kind of hateful messaging directed towards her. She's been attacked online and most recently, verbally abused when she was out with her children in Ottawa. She's even taken to having a security detail with her at some points, including election night.
Her campaign manager first noticed the misogynistic message as he opened up the campaign office at 8:30 to begin the post-campaign clean-up.
“We live in a democracy,” Kyle Harrietha said, “and this type of thing has no place in Canada. And I really don't want a future where this sort of thing becomes a normal part of politics.”
He contacted Ottawa Police. They're investigating it as mischief to property though the charge could be elevated.
“We don't need women backing down, we need women standing up and saying this is not acceptable,” said Jennifer Stewart, a public relations expert and CEO of Syntax Strategic,” and we're going to move forward and our voices will be even louder.”
In her riding today, people were raising their voices.
“It’s disgusting, it’s revolting,” said Ottawa resident Martin Rus.
“It just shows people's true colors,” added Erika Alysha Dempsey, “and I hope better for the world.”
And politicians across party lines offered support with Ontario's Premier tweeting:
"Disgusting. There is no place in Canada for hate like this."
And NDP leader Jagmeet Singh saying:
"No woman should have to deal with this in politics or in any space."
McKenna said she's fed up with the hate - but won't let that chase her out of politics.
“I am a bit shaken,” she said, “I’m tough but I’m really sick of this.”
Hours after that hateful message was sprayed on, campaign workers peeled it off and crumpled up like the garbage it is.