'When hate is given space to grow, it spreads like wild fire': Police investigating harassment of Jagmeet Singh in Ontario

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Canada's New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh speaks to media on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada April 27, 2022. REUTERS/Blair Gable (Blair Gable / reuters)

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh issued a statement after being harassed at an Ontario election campaign event in Peterborough, Ont.

"To those who have asked, I'm in Chardi Kala - rising spirits," Singh's statement reads. "I want to especially say to the people of Peterborough - I have visited many times and I know your community is filled with good people who want the best for out society."

Sadly, polarization and disinformation are real dangers to our society. 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 wild fire. That is why we must always confront it - giving it no space to take hold, no room to grow.Jagmeet Singh, New Democratic Party leader

Videos posted online show protesters shouting expletives at Singh as he left the campaign office for local Ontario NDP candidate Jen Deck, and individuals holding up their middle finger at the window of Singh's vehicle.

Peterborough Police Service has stated that it is "actively investigating" the incident.

"Anyone seeing the video should find it disheartening, morally unacceptable, and lacking the respect each resident and visitor deserves," Peterborough Police Acting Chief Tim Farquharson said in a video. "To those involved in this incident and other forms of harassment, intimidation and... hate incidents and hate crimes in the communities we police, your actions and belief systems are reprehensible, unconscionable, and in some cases, criminal."

Canadians, including politicians, have also taken to social media to respond to what happened to Singh in Peterborough.