Racist slurs directed at Green Party leadership candidates during virtual town hall
Party has notified RCMP, says perpetrators are not party members
Two Green Party leadership candidates were the targets of racist slurs during an all-candidates virtual town hall hosted by the party on Tuesday night.
The party has been hosting regional town halls as part of its leadership contest during the pandemic.
During Tuesday night's debate focused on the Prairie region, an anti-Black slur was directed at candidate Annamie Paul through the meeting's chat service. An anti-Semitic slur was repeated several times, directed at candidate Meryam Haddad.
"In the chat some comments popped up, one used the word 'N' several times. The other one referred to another candidate as a 'f-ing Jew,'" Paul said in an interview with CBC's Power & Politics host Vassy Kapelos.
While some of the slurs mentioned Haddad by name, Paul said she believes both slurs were intended for her, as she is the only Black and Jewish candidate running for the leadership.
"This is unacceptable! We have launched an investigation, and if they are members, we will expel them immediately," party executive director Prateek Awasthi tweeted shortly after the event.
A statement later released by the party said the contact information used by the perpetrators doesn't match any party member contact.
The messages were displayed only briefly before the moderators booted the perpetrators out of the virtual meeting and deleted the messages, the statement said.
The party also said it is taking all precautions to avoid another incident in the future and has notified both the RCMP and the Ottawa police.
Voting for the party's leadership begins in September.