Nova Scotia

Suspicious packages arriving by mail at Nova Scotia MP, MLA offices

The envelopes appear to be similar to ones sent to the offices of 2 Conservative MPs earlier this week. In those cases, police said the envelopes contained a chemical irritant.

Offices of 3 Liberal MPs latest to be targeted, packages also sent to 3 Liberal MLAs

Canada Post mailboxes are seen in this file photo. Cape Breton-Canso Liberal MP Mike Kelloway's constituency office was evacuated Thursday after staff received a suspicious package in the mail. (Joe Passaretti/CBC)

Three more Nova Scotia MPs were sent suspicious packages on Thursday — Liberal MPs Mike Kelloway, Andy Fillmore and Darren Fisher.

Kelloway's constituency office in Dominion, N.S., was evacuated after a suspicious package arrived in the mail.

Both Fillmore, the MP for Halifax, and Fisher, the MP for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour, tweeted that their constituency offices received packages containing chemical irritants.

This follows incidents in Nova Scotia earlier this week when two Conservative MPs and three Liberal members of the legislative assembly all received similar packages. Province House announced it would be closed to visitors Friday because of a security risk related to protests in Ottawa and at the Ambassador Bridge.

Kelloway's senior adviser, Natasha Kochhar, said the package received Thursday matched the description of ones sent to MPs Rick Perkins and Chris d'Entremont.

Staff in Kelloway's office immediately called 911 and left the office, said Kochhar.

"We're all good," she told CBC News a couple of hours after the manila envelope was found. "I'm definitely a little shaken up. We go to work to do our jobs, and the fact that people want to hurt us is a little scary."

Fillmore tweeted his staff were "shaken but OK" and that he's working with police to help find out who is behind the package.

"There's something happening in our country right now. And it's not good. We all need to take a step back and return to a more civil discourse," Fillmore tweeted.

Fisher tweeted his staff were "making out OK" after the incident at his office.

"But folks, we all need to pay attention to what's happening in this country. Hateful acts such are these, only serve to spread fear, and harm democracy in Canada," he tweeted.

Liberal MP Mike Kelloway takes part in a debate in this September 2021 photo. Staff at Kelloway's constituency office in Dominion, N.S., were all working from home Thursday afternoon after a suspicious package was received in the mail. (Tom Ayers/CBC)

After other members of Parliament received packages on Monday, the sergeant-at-arms of the House of Commons alerted all MPs to be on the lookout.

Kochhar said Thursday's package was addressed to Kelloway's Cape Breton-Canso constituency office. It had no return address, but appeared to be stuffed with several sheets of paper folded over, she said.

Staff did not open the envelope. They are all now working from home, said Kochhar.

Cape Breton regional police said they have seized the envelope and are investigating.

Earlier this week, RCMP said the envelopes sent to the other MPs contained a chemical irritant, and Perkins said one of his staff members saw disturbing images on the pages inside.

Meanwhile, Liberal MLAs Brendan Maguire (Halifax Atlantic), Rafah DiCostanzo (Clayton Park West) and Fred Tilley (Northside-Westmount) also received similar packages.

No one harmed

Caucus press secretary Caitie Clark said DiCostanzo and Tilley did not open the envelopes, but reported them to security.

Maguire's constituency assistant opened the package, but threw it out after finding anti-vaccination pamphlets, Clark said.

Blaise Theriault of Communications Nova Scotia said all provincial government departments and MLA offices have been told to beware of suspicious packages and provided instructions on what to do if one is found.

He said no one was harmed and police are investigating all three envelopes received by the MLAs. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Ayers

Reporter/Editor

Tom Ayers has been a reporter and editor for 36 years. He has spent half of them covering Cape Breton and Nova Scotia stories. You can reach him at tom.ayers@cbc.ca.

With files from Jean Laroche

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