Trinity-Spadina Liberals complain of vandalism
Liberals in the hotly contested Trinity-Spadina riding are the latest to complain about vandalism directed at campaign signs and supporters' homes.
"We have had a bunch of stuff happen throughout the writ period," John Moraz, campaign manager for Liberal candidate Christine Innes, told ctvtoronto.ca on Thursday.
"We had some of our signs taken and screwed into people's porches and fences, obviously to irritate the residents and diminish our optics," he said, adding that occurred a few weeks ago.
"Our candidate's house has had foodstuffs and unidentifiable liquids thrown on it twice this week.
"You could say it was random, but our office manager ... who lives a block away from the candidate, had her house assaulted with something," Moraz said.
"The message in that case isn't just that 'I hate you because you're a Liberal,' it's 'I know where you live,'" he said.
Police reports have been filed in two incidents, he said:
- A sign was burned
- An organizer for another party threatened some Liberal workers who were taking his photograph
The fight in Trinity-Spadina is seen as a two-way battle between Innes and NDP incumbent Olivia Chow, who defeated Tony Ianno, Innes' husband, in 2006.
Moraz said the riding is a hot contest -- but it's also been a hot contest for more than a decade.
"We've lost hundreds of signs -- as usual -- and I'm not sure that would be a story in itself if not for what happened in Parkdale-High Park or St. Paul's," he said.
This past weekend, some Liberal supporters in St. Paul's riding in midtown reported finding their brake lines cut on their cars.
Nothing that severe has happened in Trinity-Spadina, Moraz said, adding that "as a campaigner manager, I check my brakes every morning."
Paul Bretscher, communications director for the Chow campaign, told ctvtoronto.ca that "the only statement that I'm prepared to make at this time is that a criminal offence is a criminal offence, and we trust that the police will look into it."
He said "quite a large number" of NDP signs have been vandalized, but he couldn't comment as to whether any police report has been made.
Const. Tony Vella, a spokesperson for the Toronto Police Service, told ctvtoronto.ca that there hasn't been a large number of formal complaints about election-related vandalism during this campaign.
In Parkdale-High Park and St. Paul's, two of the main areas, the spate of vandalism appears to have ended.
"I think it's over for us," Lynne Steele, campaign manager for Carolyn Bennett, the Liberal incumbent in St. Paul's.
Jill Marzetti, co-campaign manager for NDP incumbent Peggy Nash in Parkdale-High Park, said there's been the "routine" damage to her candidate's signs that one sees every campaign.
"I tend to think it's folks having a little fun rather than some kind of concerted effort," she said.
A spokesperson for Parkdale-High Park Liberal candidate Gerard Kennedy couldn't be reached for comment.