The posters of the liberal candidate from the Steinbach region hit by hate speech

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The Liberal Party candidate for Provencher faces unexpected hatred after around 10 of his campaign posters were defaced in the Steinbach and LaBroquerie areas.

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Stretched on both sides of Trevor Kirczenow’s panels, printed stickers read “BROKEN TRANNY”. He filed a report with the Steinbach RCMP Detachment.

This is the second time this campaign has had sign issues, with a number of them stolen or destroyed earlier, but it was a step up from that.

“It was of course alarming to see them,” said Kirczenow, 36, who is openly transgender, and discovered the vandalism thanks to different people who found the signs. “What worried me the most was that it seemed like a pretty organized and planned effort. It wasn’t someone walking by and scribbling something with a marker.

Damaged campaign sign with a broken piece of vehicle bumper nearby on the ground, near Oakbank, Man.  Trevor Kirczenow, a Liberal candidate for the Manitoba federal riding of Provencher, told the Winnipeg Sun he saw more campaign sign thefts and vandalism compared to the last federal election in 2019.
Damaged campaign sign with a broken piece of vehicle bumper nearby on the ground, near Oakbank, Man. Trevor Kirczenow, a Liberal candidate for the Manitoba federal riding of Provencher, told the Winnipeg Sun he saw more campaign sign thefts and vandalism compared to the last federal election in 2019. Photo by photo submitted /Winnipeg Sun

He has been actively involved in the LGBTQ2S community for years and this is his second campaign after being a Liberal candidate in 2019 in the riding. He also had signs stolen in previous elections and has seen hate online before, never dealt with anything as public and personal as this before.

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He doesn’t know who is behind the degradation but wonders if people are taking their queues of political leaders. According to Abbotsford News, Maxime Bernier of the People’s Party of Canada during a stop in Abbotsford, British Columbia, said last week that he would change the laws advocated by “trans radical activists”, with reference to Bill C-16 who recognizes gender self-identification and who he says “has opened the door to forced speech”.

“The way our leaders talk and don’t talk about LGBTQ2S issues, I think it affects our communities, and in some cases I think it may encourage some people to behave in these unfortunate ways,” Kirczenow said.

No one has claimed responsibility for this vandalism.

Tory candidate and incumbent Ted Falk, said he had seen a number of his signs stolen or vandalized throughout this campaign, some were smashed, others were cut in half and some were tagged . He called the perpetrators in an emailed statement.

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“Political disagreement is healthy and necessary, but there is no room for humiliating personal attacks,” he said. “Resorting to vandalism is cowardly and unworthy of our democracy. Whether you agree or disagree with a candidate’s positions, everyone deserves to be treated with respect.

Steinbach RCMP confirmed in an email that they were investigating the complaint, filed Thursday morning at 10:51 a.m.

“The initial investigation determined that there were six locations where signs had been vandalized in Steinbach and LaBroquerie,” Robert Cyrenne, an RCMP spokesperson, said in an email. “We do not have a final number of signs that were vandalized as volunteers repaired / replaced the signs.”

jaldrich@postmedia.com

Twitter: @ JoshAldrich03

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