N.B. education minister says PPC supporters vandalized office in August

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Canada election: NB Education Minister blames PPC for vandalism
WATCH: Following a documented confrontation last month, New Brunswick Education Minister Dominic Cardy says supporters of the People’s Party of Canada vandalized his constituency office – Sep 18, 2021

New Brunswick Education Minister Dominic Cardy says his constituency office was vandalized in August — and he thinks People’s Party of Canada supporters are to blame.

He claims it happened on or around August 28 — one day after a video shows the minister confronted by a crowd of PPC supporters in Saint John, including leader Maxime Bernier and Saint John-Rothesay candidate Nicholas Pereira.

READ MORE: Maxime Bernier, party supporters, get into heated exchange with N.B. education minister

The group voiced their dissatisfaction with Cardy’s support of COVID-19 vaccines and in-school restrictions.

Cardy, a member of the Progressive Conservative Party of New Brunswick, says that the video was just the beginning of a turbulent relationship with those who align themselves with the PPC.

“That led to an outpouring of hate mail, death threats, attacks on my partner, my staff, people who work for the department,” Cardy tells Global News.

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In a Facebook post on Friday, the minister detailed the vandalism some three weeks after it allegedly happened — he believes after a rally Bernier attended in Fredericton on August 28.

“Apparently some folks turning up at my constituency office, throwing bricks at the door of the constituency office and then leaving a Bernier flag behind just to make it very clear who’d done it,” says Cardy.

He says the bricks, which had “LEAVE OUR KIDS ALONE” written on them, didn’t break the glass but left scuff marks behind.

Three weeks after the alleged incident, scuff marks are still visible on the glass door of Cardy’s office. Travis Fortnum / Global News

Global News made several attempts to contact a People’s Party spokesperson, as well Pereira and even the PPC candidate for New Brunswick Southwest, the riding in which Cardy’s office is located.

None responded to the requests for comment on Cardy’s allegations.

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Pereira did, however, make a Facebook post of his own following Cardy’s, insinuating the education minister was fabricating his claims.

“Who falls for this anymore?” Pereira writes.

“If this happened on the date he suggests, August 28th, why wait until 3 days before the election to post about it?”

Supporters in the comment section of the post asked whether Cardy had really called the police at all and accused Cardy of throwing the brick himself.

New Brunswick RCMP confirm to Global News they did receive a related complaint and are investigating.

Global News spoke to a neighbouring business owner in the same plaza as the constituency office who confirmed the scuff marks on the window have been there for “about three weeks.”

Additionally, when on location at Cardy’s office Saturday, Global News observed a second PPC flag had been left.

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A neighbouring business owner saying it was placed by someone 20 minutes earlier.

“It’s their decision how they want to behave,” says Cardy, “but in a democracy, at some point, we have to say any use of violence is unacceptable.”

He says he’s received numerous explicit death threats, which he’s reported to public safety as per protocol, but isn’t afraid.

“We’ve got a lot of people here who are living their lives as keyboard warriors, sitting behind a computer thinking that somehow this is going to change the world,” Cardy says.

“They don’t realize there are consequences and real-world impacts.”

Cardy says he’s speaking up because something has to change.

“We ask why people don’t get involved in politics, why women don’t get involved in politics or people from minority communities … they don’t want to put up with this stuff,” he says.

The PPC heads into its second election since its formation without much to lose, having no seats at the dissolution of Parliament.

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