Calgary MP says home protest left him concerned about the safety of his family

A Calgary MP says his family is shaken by the presence of a group of protesters outside his home Sunday. 

Protest comes one week after beefed up security funding for Calgary councillors

Calgary-Skyview MP George Chahal in the Skyview Ranch community in Calgary, Alta., Saturday, Jan. 30, 2021. On Sunday, protestors gathered outside Chahal's home. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press)

A Calgary MP says his family is shaken by the presence of a group of protesters outside his home Sunday. 

Calgary-Skyview MP George Chahal said his wife and three daughters had just come in from walking the family dog when they were alerted to a group of protesters outside his home. 

There were about 25 or 30 people in attendance at the protest, Chahal said. He tweeted a photo of the protest, where many people were holding signs related to the vaccine mandate for truckers crossing into and out of the United States.

"My wife and kids, my girls, should not be in this country, in this city, living with fear…they're using these tactics to place fear in my children and my wife," Chahal said. 

"I don't know what their intent is, but this has been getting worse and worse over the last number of months, and I'm obviously concerned about the safety of them and myself."

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on social media that he was thinking of Chahal and his family.

"This kind of intimidation — against any politician or public servant — is completely unacceptable and inexcusable, and it's not how disagreements should be voiced in our democracy," Trudeau wrote on Twitter.

Chahal said he doesn't know how the protestors found out where he lives. His office is undergoing a review of security measures.

Police monitoring 

Calgary police said they are still investigating the incident to see if any charges will be laid, though protestors at Chahal's house had left prior to police arriving. 

Police said they will be monitoring, as they do with any protest group, for additional planned activity and have created a response plan. 

"While all Canadians have the right to peaceful assembly under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, we believe it is inappropriate to do so outside of someone's residential address," a police spokesperson said in an emailed statement. 

"The dynamics of such events can cause significant concerns for local residents when compared to similar protests targeted toward institutions and held at locations such as city hall or constituency offices." 

'Where does it stop?' 

The protest at Chahal's home is the fourth time in recent weeks a group has protested at the home of a politician in Calgary. Alberta Health Minister Jason Copping, Ward 9 Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra, and Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek have all recently faced similar protests at their homes. 

"It's unsettling and my family did not ask for that. My neighbours did not ask for that. Frankly, I didn't," Gondek told CBC News on Monday.

She said stronger action needs to be taken against the protestors. 

"This seems to be spreading everywhere. We know that healthcare workers were targeted as well. Where does it stop?"

Council also recently beefed up security funding for the private residences of council members. Last week, council voted to have the city provide home security systems and installation worth up to $8,000 plus $100 in additional monthly monitoring fees to council members who want them.