catherine mckenna vandalism

Canada’s minister of climate change has sexist slur painted on her office

The campaign office of Ottawa Centre MP Catherine McKenna was defaced with a sexist and vulgar slur overnight Wednesday.

The Liberal environment minister, who was re-elected Monday evening as her party won a minority government, said her campaign has contacted police about the incident.

Reaction from all sides of the political spectrum was supportive of McKenna, including from Ontario premier Doug Ford, who has been a vocal critic of the government she serves in.

“We’ve just been through a really divisive campaign with a lot of negative rhetoric and this is really beneath us as Canadians,” McKenna told reporters at a media availability. “I’m angry and quite frankly really disappointed.”

As Environment Minister, McKenna has led the country on a contentious file, with the government successfully passing a federal carbon tax bill in 2018. Conservative politicians, including Ford and Alberta premier Jason Kenney, have fought against the policy.

One commentator noted that McKenna — who has not been the subject of any personal scandals — as a woman in politics receives harassment that no male counterparts, who have been the subject of scandal, have to deal with.

McKenna's high-profile role in the Trudeau government has led to frequent sexist attacks online and elsewhere, particularly after the right wing website Rebel News (formerly Rebel Media) began using the disparaging term "Climate Barbie" to describe her.

In November 2017, someone mailed McKenna's office a barbie doll, which she then donated to a Christmas toy drive.

A 2015 survey of female parliamentarians across 39 countries, including Canada, found that 44 per cent had been threatened with rape, beating, abduction or death, while 65 per cent had been subject to sexist remarks from their male colleagues.


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