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Health Minister Tyler Shandro was arriving at the Parkland Community Association in southeast Calgary with his wife and two sons when several supporters of fringe mayoral candidate Kevin J. Johnston began swarming him.
The protesters chanted Lock Shandro up, called him a war criminal and asked him to answer for destroying the lives and businesses of Albertans through COVID-19 restrictions. The harassment visibly upset one of Shandros young sons.
Speaking to media after the harassment, Shandro said it was an unfortunate way for people to express their views, particularly during a Canada Day event meant for celebration.
Obviously, throughout the pandemic there has been a lot of high emotions on both sides of the political spectrum, but this is a day to focus on celebrating Stage 3, celebrating family, Shandro said.
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Theres some anxiety for them to hear people believing some of this disinformation about vaccines. Its been unfortunate, and the way it was expressed today was unfortunate.
Some of those yelling at Shandro were supporters of Kevin J. Johnston, a far-right agitator running for mayor in Calgarys upcoming municipal election.
Johnston remains in jail while awaiting trial on two criminal charges of causing a disturbance and disobeying a court order relating to incidents at downtown Calgarys Core shopping complex, in which he and others went into shoe stores without masks.
Johnston, 49, was charged again Thursday, this time related to the alleged harassment of an Alberta Health Services employee. Police said in a news release Johnston engaged in the harassment of the employee by way of threatening conduct directed at the victim in person, on social media and online between April 24 and May 22.
He is due in court on the harassment charge July 12. He also faces a $1.3-million lawsuit filed by AHS.