It’s not only voters with political lawn signs who’ve had their vehicles vandalized around the city over the past few days — a candidate’s tires were also slashed.
Bob Rae, the Liberal running in Toronto-Centre, posted the following tweet just after 10 p.m. Saturday: “Our front left tire slashed this morning … not nice”.
There’s no confirmation that the incident involving Rae’s vehicle is connected to other recently reported cases.
Police are investigating after two dozen vehicles were vandalized in two Toronto ridings since Thursday night.
In the latest incident, tires were slashed and paint was scratched on five vehicles sometime between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. Friday in the Trinity-Spadina riding near Bloor and Bathurst. Similar acts of vandalism happened in the midtown riding of St. Paul’s late Thursday. In both areas, vehicles parked at homes with Liberal lawn signs were targeted.
At one home near Spadina Avenue and Bloor Street, a car tire was punctured and the words “Die Lie beral scum” were scrawled on the garage.
“I am appalled at the increasing level of intimidation I have seen in this campaign,” local Liberal candidate Christine Innes said in a statement. “This is an attack on democracy. Campaigns should be about substantive issues, and that’s what I will continue to focus on in this campaign.”
Local NDP candidate Olivia Chow issued a statement on the apparent campaign-related vandalism Saturday.
“The defacing and slashing of our election signs, and the reported slashing of tires in Trinity-Spadina are an affront to the democratic process and freedom of expression,” she said. “I urge everyone to be proud of our diverse political opinions, respect those of others, and reject the politics of intimidation.”
Local NDP campaign chair Joe Cressy noted that on any given night between 20 and 50 NDP lawn signs are stolen. His disappeared Friday night.
The Conservative campaign office of candidate Gin Siow in Trinity-Spadina also said lawn signs regularly disappear.
“In a democracy, people have the right to express who they support and should not have to worry about being victims of vandalism,” Siow said in an email to CityNews.ca.
“I am very proud to live in Canada, a country that encourages freedom of speech. This is an important election and I encourage everyone to engage themselves in healthy discussion about the future of our country.”
Authorities are asking anyone with information to call officers at 14 Division at (416) 808-1400 or Crime Stoppers at (416) 222-TIPS.
Police released a security image of a person of interest after 16 vehicles were vandalized Thursday night between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Soudan and Hoyle Avenues, near Bayview and Eglinton Avenues.
Since Friday, police say another three vandalized vehicles have been reported in the area, bringing to total number of damaged autos in St. Paul’s to 19. Cops are stepping up patrols in the area.
Anyone with information on the midtown cases is asked to call officers at 53 Division at (416) 808-5300 or Crime Stoppers at (416) 222-TIPS.
Local city councillor Josh Matlow invited constituents with federal election lawn signs who are worried about their cars to park on the street without a permit until the May 2 vote. Matlow said anyone whose vehicle is tagged can contact his office to have the ticket withdrawn.
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