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London man accused of harassing Councillor Arielle Kayabaga has charges withdrawn

Matthew Trevithick / Global News

A London, Ont., man accused by police of harassing Ward 13 councillor, and London West MP-elect, Arielle Kayabaga last year has had his charges dropped.

The 43-year-old man was arrested and charged in November 2020 with criminal harassment by repeated communication and harassing telecommunication after it was alleged Kayabaga had received multiple harassing phone calls from a stranger.

Read more: With Kayabaga victory projected in London West, focus turns to her Ward 13 council seat

During a court appearance on Tuesday, the Crown requested that the charges against the man be withdrawn citing no possible prospect of conviction.

Kayabaga had tweeted in September 2020 that she had been receiving daily phone calls for four months from a man to “talk about how sorry he feels for black women because I am a single moms (sic), black on black crimes to this day.”

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“Tonight he told (me) he will show up at my house and I told him I’ll be waiting. I just wanted to say, you’ll never make me quit!” she wrote in a tweet dated Sept. 17, 2020.

Tuesday morning’s court hearing came less than 12 hours after Kayabaga was declared the projected winner in London West in Monday’s federal election with a close 4.2 percentage point lead over Conservative Rob Flack.

Kayabaga’s win marks the first time in many years that a London city councillor has been able to make a successful jump from local to federal politics.

City council is expected to declare Ward 13 vacant at its Oct. 5 meeting, kicking off the process to find Kayabaga’s successor who will either be appointed by city politicians or chosen by ward residents in a byelection.

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