Skip to main content

Politicians denounce video of Alberta man verbally harassing Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland was verbally ambushed Friday on a visit to Grande Prairie.

A video, posted on TikTok and Twitter, shows a large stocky white man with a beard wearing a ripped white tank top and baggy jeans approaching the front reception desk of an office in Grande Prairie demanding to speak with Freeland.

A woman taking the video then notices Freeland down the hall of the building about to get into an elevator and makes the man aware of her presence.

“Oh, right there she is. Elliot, that’s Chrystia,” says the woman. The man then approaches Freeland.

"Chrystia!" the man yells, prompting Freeland to turn to greet him.

Deputy prime minister Chrystia Freeland reacts to man in Grand Prairie

"What the f—k are you doing in Alberta?" the man asks. "You f—kin' traitor! You f—in' b—ch! Get the f—k out of this province!" he says, continuing a verbal assault.

"You don't belong here," adds the woman, who was with the man.

Freeland, originally from Alberta, said she is proud of her Peace Country heritage and said no one should have to deal with that kind of intimidation.

"I'm going to keep coming back because Alberta is home, and because I want to keep meeting with Albertans from across this great province," she said in a social media statement Saturday.

"What happened yesterday was wrong," the deputy prime minister added. "But the Alberta I know is filled with kind and welcoming people, and I'm grateful for the warm welcome I've received from so many people in Edmonton, Grande Prairie and Peace River over the past few days.

"One unpleasant incident yesterday doesn't change that." 


The disturbing video resonated with female politicians from both parties Saturday morning, as they reacted on social media.

"She hears her name and turns to him because she is open to engaging with people," said Conservative Lisa Raitt.

"He becomes abusive and she heads into the elevator. And in that moment, I'm feeling a knot in my stomach worried (that) he follows. Physical intimidation is not a form democratic expression."

Former Liberal environment minister Catherine McKenna replied to Raitt's tweet, saying, "I feel that exact feeling too when I watch it."

Federal Minister of National Defence and Liberal MP for Oakville, Anita Anand posted on social media to say she was appalled by the threats as well.

"This behaviour has no place in Canada," said Anand.

"We've all run for office to promote dialogue on important public policy issues, and harassment like this cannot be tolerated."

Conservative Michelle Rempel Garner, the MP for Calgary Nose Hill, weighed in also, saying, "Me too. That hot, sick feeling of being trapped, of not knowing what's going to happen, of not knowing where to run if it escalates, of being confronted by someone hostile and physically larger than you. I have been there, and I'm there again, watching it. It's like watching me."

Alberta senator Paula Simons also weighed in, saying, "Note, it's pretty hard to intimidate a woman who defied the Russian secret police, who stood up to Putin and Trump, and who can run circles around most bullies, in high heels, no less. She greets him in an open, friendly way, then strides coolly into that elevator when he goes off."

The video posted by Tik Tok user, “@inchoohisdai” has now been taken down and the account has been banned by the social media platform.

The account is linked to a Grande Prairie man named Elliot McDavid who lives in the city and has been an active organizer of freedom convoy events in his area. CTV News has reached out to McDavid for comment but has not heard back.

Jackie Clayton, Grande Prairie's mayor, called the incident "disgusting" and did not reflect the "welcoming spirit" the northern Alberta region is known for.

"We do not need to agree on every issue to treat each other with basic respect," Clayton said in a statement. "I want to express my gratitude to the City staff who calmly de-escalated the situation and acted in a highly professional manner despite the stressful circumstance."

Clayton added that during Freeland's visit, the mayor saw her engage with many local residents who expressed concern about federal policies respectfully.

"This is the Grande Prairie that I know and love. A Grande Prairie where neighbours are treated with dignity and where opposing views are respected," the mayor said.

"We will not let the actions of a few define who we are as a community or who we are as a nation."


Mount Royal University political scientist Duane Bratt, says the online video showing the verbal harassment of Freeland is likely due to a hatred of the federal government fueled by prairie premiers.

“There is a growing anger in the country and in the province because you've got Premier Scott Moe, you've got Danielle Smith, you've got others. basically, arguing the federal government is illegitimate in the prairies,” said Bratt.

“Whether it's Jason Kenney or other UCP leadership candidates talking about Trudeau deliberately destroying Alberta's oil and gas sector, you create that culture where the federal government is not seen as legitimate and you're opening the door for nut bars to go after federal politicians in the prairies," he said.

Bratt added that the video is very disturbing and misogynistic, noting that female politicians or journalists are regularly becoming a target.

“We've seen it with Rachel Notley, we've seen it with Michelle Rempel Garner, so we're seeing you know female politicians receiving tons of abuse largely by white men,” he said.

“Someone is going to get seriously hurt or killed here, you know, verbal abuse of this type is going to lead to physical attacks.”

The video has since garnered thousands of views on various social media platforms, sparking outrage amongst politicians including Premier Jason Kenney who called the actions ‘reprehensible.’

“If you disagree with a politician, by all means exercise your right to protest. But screaming threatening language & physical intimidation crosses the line,” Kenney posted to Twitter Saturday morning.

“@cafreeland, you know that our governments have a lot of serious disagreements. But you’re always welcome to come and visit us here in the province where you grew up & your family lives! As we are all Canadians.”

UCP leadership candidate Travis Toews also weighed in.

“It’s no secret Chrystia Freeland and I do not see eye-to-eye politically, but what she experienced was frankly disgusting and completely unacceptable,” Toews posted to Twitter.

“This is not the Alberta I know and love. This isn’t the Grande Prairie I know and love. We can disagree without resorting to this vile behaviour.”

The Alberta RCMP are aware of the incident, but were unable to confirm to CTV News if an investigation is underway or if any reports against McDavid have been filed.

"The RCMP is committed to safeguarding Canadian dignitaries who fall under the RCMP’s purview, including Members of Parliament and Ministers of the Crown, based on the latest threat and risk assessments," they said, in a statement sent to CTV News. "To ensure the safety of those we protect, as well as of our members, we do not disclose information pertaining to threat assessments, related subjects, or about our specific protective measures." Top Stories

Stay Connected