Better Than This

Peterborough is #BetterThanThis

Today, I stood on the steps of City Hall, with our Mayor and my council colleagues, to denounce those who continue to harass, intimidate and distract our community with their abusive behaviour.  We may not have many tools to address the actions of these few, but we do have our collective voices. 

As Mayor Therrien so rightly states, “To say nothing is a choice. To not clearly, forcefully and repeatedly condemn these tactics is to be complicit”.

Please take time to read Mayor Therrien’s remarks as delivered.


Mayor Diane Therrien and members of council stand on the steps of City Hall
Mayor Diane Therrien delivers a statement on May 17, 2022 to condemn the attack on Jagmeet Singh and call on all citizens and leaders to be #BetterThanThis. Left to right: Coun. Henry Clarke, Coun. Keith Riel, Coun. Kemi Akapo, Coun. Stephen Wright and Coun. Kim Zippel with Mayor Diane Therrien at the podium.


Tuesday, May 17, 2022, Peterborough, Ont.: On Tuesday May 10, our City was the site of an ugly, unacceptable attack on the leader of the Federal NDP. Mr. Singh came here to support the provincial party’s local candidate, as is his right to do so, and he should have been able to do so free from harassment and intimidation.

This was not a protest or acts of civil disobedience. Mr. Singh was targeted and physically harassed as he left the campaign office and walked to his vehicle. People yelled at him, insulted him, and swore at him. 

This incident is one of many that our and other communities have been subjected to in recent months.  

The purpose of this behaviour is to intimidate. It is to incite others to join in the rage, anger, and violence. It is intended to disrupt our freedom to safely and securely participate in the democratic process. 

It is to distract us from working together to address the issues that truly matter and are increasingly urgent for all of us — climate change, mental health, drug addiction, child poverty, housing affordability, the list goes on. 

These are deliberate, and very damaging, distractions.  

The result of this behaviour is a corrosive poisoning of our communities, the amplification of racism and misogyny, and the deterioration of the peace, order and good government that Canadians continue to fight and die for.  

We are Better Than This. 

The City of Peterborough is Better Than This. 

We all must be Better Than This. 

And each one of us in positions of influence must clearly, forcefully, and repeatedly condemn these tactics.

As Peterborough’s municipal leaders, we stand here together to show that we unconditionally condemn these tactics. We will not be intimidated to speak up and stand up against this, and demand better from everyone who engages in public and political debate.

I, Mayor of Peterborough, am calling on every political leader in Canada to stand with the good people of Peterborough and condemn these tactics. To refuse to be intimidated and coerced into appeasing or collaborating in any way with those who are terrorizing our democratic processes. To say, that this terror must stop now for the good of our country and for the protection of our democratic freedoms. 

To say nothing is a choice. To not clearly, forcefully and repeatedly condemn these tactics is to be complicit. And the good, decent people of Canada who place a high value on peace and respectful discourse, must demand this from themselves and from all political leaders.

Finally, we, the Council for the City of Peterborough, will bring forward a motion at our next Council meeting to invite Mr. Singh back to our city, to show solidarity, to stand united with him, and to let him know that we are Better Than This. 

Thank you.

Diane Therrien

3 thoughts on “Better Than This”

  1. Thank you Councillor Zippel. You, the Mayor & the other councillors standing with you, represent me & my feelings in this. I have been proud to have you on city council representing me.

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