Despite 'graphic' death threats, transgender St. John's election candidate undeterred

Ophelia Ravencroft, shown in this recent handout image provided by her campaign, says she's faced death threats while campaigning in the St. John's, N.L., municipal elections. A transgender, non-binary woman, Ravencroft says the threats have been alarming enough to change her campaigning strategy, but she's determined to keep going, and to become as the province's first openly transgender elected official. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Charlie Dunphy)

A non-binary woman running in the St. John's, N.L., municipal election says months of death threats may have forced changes in her campaign style, but they haven't ended her quest to become the province's first openly transgender elected official.

Ophelia Ravencroft is running in the downtown electoral district in St. John's, after finishing second in a byelection last winter for the same seat.

This time around, her campaign's social media channels have been muted, and there are few of her signature black-and-purple lawn signs up around the city.

In an interview, Ravencroft says that's because she's faced months of "very graphic" death threats online and in person, and she was worried her supporters would be targeted, too.

She went public about the situation earlier this week, saying she owed it to her supporters to explain why things were different, and to say she remained determined to be elected.

A spokesperson for the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary said today her campaign had brought the matter to the force's attention, and confirmed an investigation is ongoing.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 1, 2021.