Calgary

Serious threats against Calgary council mostly target Nenshi and Farrell, city statistics show

Among Calgary's municipal leaders, Mayor Naheed Nenshi and Coun. Druh Farrell receive the lion's share of threats considered serious enough to involve police.

'The bullying and intimidation on social media has reached a crescendo'

Coun. Druh Farrell and Mayor Naheed Nenshi get the most threats, by far, made against members of Calgary city council that are considered serious enough to involve police. (CBC)

Mayor Naheed Nenshi and Coun. Druh Farrell receive by far the lion's share of serious threats made against Calgary's city council.

These are threats serious enough to involve police.

The numbers were released Wednesday by the city, which compiled them in response to a freedom on information application that officials received earlier this year.

"As required by the FOIP Act, on June 21, the applicant was provided with the names, number of threats and the number of threats elevated to the Calgary Police Service," the city said in a release.

In 2015, there were 36 such threats against Nenshi, 65 the next year and 23 so far this year.

There were 68 serious threats against Farrell in 2013, seven the next year, and two per year in 2015 and 2016.

Farrell says that during her 16 years in municipal politics, the level of hostility expressed in the threats has gone up.

"When I first got elected, it was very respectful. Yes, we disagreed with things and people might be angry with a decision. But it would be in a respectful manner," she said.

Many of the threats — which she passes on to corporate security or to the police — come from fake accounts, she says.

"The bullying and intimidation on social media has reached a crescendo, especially with what's happening in the U.S.," she said.

"And they're able to get away with it and they're able to hide behind anonymity. And it's cowardly and it's hurtful and it's disgusting."

Earlier this month, public school trustee candidate Nimra Amjad received violent and racist threats on her Facebook page.

In the first comment, Amjad was called a racial slur and asked what right she has to run for office in Canada.

The post threatened that the neo-Nazi group Aryan Guard would find out where she lives, telling her to "beware."

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