The mayor of Vancouver has alleged that he and his wife were “aggressively harassed” by a member of the public over the weekend.
In a statement, Kennedy Stewart said he and his wife, Jeanette, were at a store in Yaletown on September 18 when a “white male in his late 40s or early 50s” verbally harassed them.
Stewart said the man disparaged homeless people and that his attitude became “increasingly aggressive.” He alleged that the man “initiated physical contact” with him.
“I repeatedly asked him to leave us alone and he did not. I told him three times that if he did not leave us alone and respect our personal space, I would call the police,” the mayor said.
“When he continued and challenged me to step outside, I called the police and described the incident.”
Stewart said that while he respects people’s right to express differing views, resorting to harassment or violence is “unacceptable.”
Vancouver Police confirmed to Daily Hive that officers were called to a Yaletown liquor store on Saturday afternoon following a “verbal altercation” inside.
“Our officers conducted a thorough investigation and spoke with all parties involved, including witnesses,” Sergeant Steve Addison said.
“The parties went their separate ways after speaking with police. The matter is still under investigation.”
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Stewart said that he was told by officers that the man would be given a verbal or written warning, and that “possible charges would be considered.”
He noted that there has been an increase in “aggressive behaviour” directed at public figures, pointing to recent incidents involving Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau.
“I am grateful to the VPD officers who assisted with the incident,” Stewart said. “I look forward to the conclusion of their investigation.”