VANCOUVER Mayor Kennedy Stewart and his wife were reportedly aggressively harassed by a man while shopping at Yaletown on Saturday.
Stewart said in a statement on Monday: “This past Saturday afternoon, my wife Jeanette and I were shopping at a local Yaletown shop with our puppy Fergus. A white male in his late 40s or early 50s who was shopping in the store approached us and began to verbally harass me. He then moved to target Jeanette with his verbal abuse and to disparage people living without homes. His attitude became increasingly aggressive and he initiated physical contact with me.
“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. When he continued and challenged me to step outside, I called the police and described the incident.
“Jeanette and I remained in the store while the man waited outside. Vancouver Police Department (VPD) officers arrived shortly thereafter and took statements. I was told the man would be given a verbal or written warning and that possible charges would be considered. My wife and I are grateful to the VPD officers who responded for their attention and professionalism.
“Unfortunately, we have seen an increase in this kind of aggressive behaviour directed at public figures. Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum, Victoria Police Chief Del Manak, and Prime Minister Trudeau have all been recent targets of harassment and violence.
“Where I fully respect people’s right to express different viewpoints, resorting to harassment or violence is unacceptable. Again, I am grateful to the VPD officers who assisted with the incident and I look forward to the conclusion of their investigation.”