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Suspect who allegedly threatened Toronto mayoral candidates released on bail

A 29-year-old man who was arrested last week after allegedly threatening Toronto mayoral candidates has been released on bail, police confirm.

It is not immediately clear what conditions, if any, have been ordered by the court.

Junior Francois Lavagesse, of Toronto, was arrested and charged on June 1 after police say that he made multiple threats against Toronto’s mayoral candidates.

Police allege that Lavagesse walked into a location near Mortimer and Greenwood avenues in East York on the morning June 1, where he brandished what appeared to be a firearm and made threatening remarks about mayoral candidates.

His arrest came hours after police notified candidates about the threat, prompting a number of them to cancel campaign events over safety concerns. A debate was also scrapped that night after some candidates pulled out.

Police said Lavagesse’s arrest was made “without incident” on the evening of June 1.

However, given the nature of the accusations against Lavagesse, some candidates are expressing concerns about his release.

Candidate Brad Bradford said in a video on Twitter that this situation is “emblematic of a story that happens time and time again across the city.”

“Violent offenders are out on bail in our communities, and there are very few checks and balances to keep folks safe,” Bradford continued.

Former police chief Mark Saunders also questioned the decision to release Lavagesse on bail, saying the matter reflects the bail reform issues he’s discussed during his campaign.

“It’s a problem with our justice system,” he said.

Mitzie Hunter, meanwhile, said she personally feels safe, and that her campaign has reviewed its safety protocols while she continues to canvas across Toronto.

“I have every confidence in the Toronto Police Service and they wouldn’t have released him with there being a risk to public safety, and we have faith and total confidence in the court system,” she said in a statement.

Frontrunner Olivia Chow and former deputy mayor Ana Bailao have not yet commented on the situation.

With files from CP24's Joshua Freeman Top Stories

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