Ottawa police investigating incident at Catherine McKenna's constituency office

Ottawa police tell CTV News they are investigating an incident at the local constituency office of Ottawa Centre Liberal MP Catherine McKenna.

Police said the incident happened at around 10:30 a.m. Aug. 6, at the office on Catherine Street in Ottawa's Centretown neighbourhood.

"We received a complaint and it is presently under investigation. No further information at this time," said Ottawa police const. Martin Dompierre in a statement to CTV News.

Police would not say exactly what the incident was, but a video surfaced on social media over the weekend of a man recording himself visiting the office and being told it is closed due to COVID-19. He then proceeds to yell obscenities at the office staffer before walking away.

In a statement to CTV News, McKenna said this is not an isolated incident.

"The appropriate law enforcement authorities have been notified about this incident. Unfortunately, it is not a one-off or an isolated occurrence," she said. "My family, my staff and I deal with abusive behavior on a regular basis. This is unacceptable and I am committed to working across party lines to make it stop. It is also the kind of behaviour that discourages women from entering politics."

Last October, McKenna's campaign headquarters was vandalized just days after the 2019 federal election. A vulgar, misogynistic slur was spray-painted over a picture of her face.

McKenna, who had just been re-elected, told reporters it was just another example of the hateful rhetoric she and other candidates experienced on the campaign trail.

“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.”

McKenna served as environment minister in the previous Parliament and faced a barrage of vitriol online that eventually spilled into real life, requiring her to have a security detail at times, including on election night.

"These people just want attention. The only attention they should get is from law enforcement," McKenna said in her statement on Monday.

McKenna received support on social media from local Progressive Conservative MPP Lisa MacLeod.

Having had this experience and the terror and fright that comes along with it - and saw some political actors justify it - I couldn’t agree more with Gerry. This needs to stop. https://t.co/XpAG4N7pOX

— Lisa MacLeod (@MacLeodLisa) August 10, 2020

MacLeod, Ontario's minister for heritage, tourism, and sport, has also been the target of harassment, including incidents in which someone has been charged. She had a security detail from Ontario Provincial Police while she was minister of children and social services, overseeing the province's contentious autism support strategy.