Authorities say they're now actively investigating the harassment of Burnaby South MP and federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh during a campaign event earlier this week.
Singh was in Peterborough on Tuesday (May 10) to show support for Jen Deck — NDP candidate for Peterborough-Kawartha — in Ontario's upcoming provincial election slated for June 2.
In videos circulating on social media, protesters can be heard saying "You're a traitor" and "You're a piece of s--t," while others told him to go "f--k himself" as Singh was leaving.
Protesters continued to swarm Singh while he worked his way through the crowd to get into a waiting SUV.
Police say they are now actively investigating the incident after receiving a complaint from the public.
"We recognize the impact this incident has had on our community," Peterborough Police Service acting chief Tim Farquharson said in a video message.
"Anyone seeing the video should find it morally unacceptable and lacking the respect each resident and visitor deserves. Thank you to all that have stepped up to say that.
"To those involved in this incident and other forms of harassment, intimidation and in some cases hate incidents or hate crimes in the communities we police, your actions and belief systems are reprehensible, unconscionable and in some cases criminal."
In a tweet posted on Wednesday (May 11), Singh said hate needs to be confronted to give it no space to grow.
"Sadly, polarization and disinformation are real dangers to our society," he wrote.
"While disagreements are fundamental to a thriving democracy — hatred, violence and wishing death upon others threaten it. Politicians must remember the consequences when they stoke fear and division.
"When hate is given space to grow, it spreads like wildfire. That is why we must always confront it — giving it no space to take hold, no room to grow."
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the hatred and vitriol that was directed toward the NDP leader was "absolutely disgusting."
"I agree with you that we must confront it and condemn it. It has no place in politics — or anywhere in Canada," he tweeted.