A craft brewery in Gateway Village, P.E.I., says their delivery van was vandalized on Saturday — the latest act of “hate,” they claim, after the business posted a photo of their staff with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last Friday.
Trudeau had lunch at their brewpub on July 29, Lone Oak said in a Facebook post on Saturday.
“We want to be clear that any elected official from a democratic country, representing any political stripe, is welcome at Lone Oak and we would be more than happy to take a photo with them,” said the brewery.
After posting the photo with Trudeau on Facebook, Lone Oak said it received a chain of negative and vulgar comments, private messages, and phone calls directed at the business and its staff. The company posted a photo on Facebook of their van with a smashed windshield on Saturday.
“The hate is still there and this time it has gone way too far,” the company said in its Facebook post. “Our delivery driver found our Lone Oak van vandalized this morning as shown in the photo attached to this post.”
They said law enforcement had been contacted and they are taking the necessary steps to protect their staff.
Lone Oaks also edited its Facebook post featuring Trudeau that they say reached over 150,000 people and removed the photo showing the prime minister that “was receiving comments sexualizing our staff,” the brewery said.
Lone Oak’s Google and Facebook ratings were also attacked by people who had never visited the establishment, according to the brewery.
“The ratings fell from 4.8/5 to 2.8/5 at their lowest,” said Lone Oak, but have since returned to their previous level after speaking with CBC last Friday on the situation.
Following that coverage, Lone Oak said it also received many supportive calls from the community.
The business said the staff is loving the positivity, but added that “the hate is still there and it has gone too far” after the alleged act of vandalism.
“We want to let everyone know that law enforcement has been contacted and we are taking the necessary steps to keep our staff safe,” Lone Oak said.
The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) sent a statement to Global News Sunday condemning the hate that Lone Oak has been receiving.
“The Prime Minister was happy to have lunch, meet with people from the community, and support a strong small business,” the statement reads.
“It is completely unacceptable that the owners and staff have faced threats and violence,” it added.
The PMO spokesperson said they are “glad that everyone is safe.”
“It’s heartening to see the community continue to step up, condemn the despicable attacks, and throw their full support behind the great team at Lone Oak, reflecting the true spirit of Islanders and all Canadians.”