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HomeCanadaBreaking:: Alleged Gun Threat Causes Withdrawals, Toronto Mayoral Debate Cancelled

Breaking:: Alleged Gun Threat Causes Withdrawals, Toronto Mayoral Debate Cancelled


A Toronto mayoral debate scheduled to take place on Thursday night has been canceled after several candidates pulled out of the event over a perceived threat.

Three hopeful Toronto mayors indicated their public campaign activities were disrupted Thursday when police searched for a man who allegedly threatened to shoot several candidates.

On Thursday morning, Toronto police responded to a call in East York where a man allegedly made the threats and was carrying an apparent firearm, according to a press release. It is unclear whether any mayoral candidates were present at the location.

Police are still looking for the 29-year-old man, who is wanted for threatening bodily harm, carrying a concealed weapon and possessing a dangerous weapon.

Candidates Ana Bailao, Brad Bradford, Chloe Brown, Olivia Chow, Josh Matlow and Mitzie Hunter were set to face off in a debate Thursday night at OCAD University.

Hours before the scheduled debate, the university tweeted that it had been canceled, though no reason was given.

On Thursday afternoon, Josh Matlow announced he would not be attending the debate and said in a tweet that his campaign office will be closed until the suspect is caught.

Mark Saunders also said that he would not be present at the debate, according to his spokesman.

And Brad Bradford announced in a tweet that he would pause public events until the suspect is apprehended.

Olivia Chow, for her part, said in a statement that she was made aware of the verbal threat against candidates earlier on Thursday.

Mitzie Hunter said in a statement that she would suspend her campaign activities for the remainder of the day out of an abundance of caution for volunteers and members of the public. She said she will review campaign events on Friday.

Chloe Brown, another candidate, said in a text message that she had “no intention” of canceling public appearances and does not believe the threats were directed against her or her team.

Police said they had not advised candidates to cancel performances, but that they would be present at the debate.

The suspect is described as 6 feet 1 inch, 180 pounds with black hair in locks. Police say he is considered armed and dangerous.

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