PEI

Premier 'deeply disappointed' by threats made against P.E.I. pro-choice activist

The premier of Prince Edward Island said he's "deeply disappointed and saddened" to learn of threats made against a Charlottetown pro-choice activist for an online petition.

'While everyone is entitled to their opinion, no one should ever feel threatened or bullied'

Premier Dennis King says 'as Islanders we should expect better from each other.' (Steve Bruce/CBC)

The premier of Prince Edward Island said he's "deeply disappointed and saddened" to learn of threats made against a Charlottetown pro-choice activist for an online petition.

Threats toward Becka Viau began, she told CBC News, in the form of phone calls, emails and printed notes after she created a petition calling for the resignation of interim Liberal Leader Robert Mitchell.

The petition, which has been signed by hundreds throughout the week, called for his resignation because he attended an anti-abortion event on Sunday.

In a Facebook post, Premier Dennis King said he's upset by the way in which some people on P.E.I. have reacted to Viau's opinion and petition.

"While everyone is entitled to their opinion, no one should ever feel threatened or bullied for expressing their thoughts," King said on Facebook. 

"As Islanders we should expect better from each other."

'I urge Islanders to be more respectful'

Viau said she received anonymous phone calls as well as having notes left on her car, left for her at work and at home.

The notes called Viau a "murderer," others said "watch your back," and some target her children. 

Viau has shared photos of some of the threats on Facebook, and said the support she's received in response has been comforting. But she said she and her family are on edge. 

She decided not to attend a rally on Tuesday, which called for Mitchell's resignation, because she didn't want to put herself or her family at risk. 

As well as emails and phone calls, Becka Viau says several threatening notes were left on her car. (Nicole Williams/CBC)

"On Prince Edward Island, we are privileged to live in a democratic society where we all have the right to be engaged, speak freely, and most importantly, feel safe in doing so. It is OK for us to disagree on matters that are important to us," King said in the post.

"I urge Islanders to be more respectful in how they choose to express their disagreement with other people's opinions."

Charlottetown police confirmed that an investigation was launched and that there has been increased police presence near her home. 

Police said they are taking the matter seriously, and ask anyone with information to contact them. 

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