North Shore MLAs take exception to prominent realtor's statement that NDP should be shot over property surtax

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      Last week, the North Shore News  posted an article on a town-hall meeting held to oppose the NDP's new property surtax on homes valued at more than $3 million.

      A well-known West Vancouver real-estate agent, Allan Angell, reportedly told the crowd at the Kay Meek Centre for the Performing Arts that "the NDP should be shot" for introducing this measure.

      Angell also claimed that his house has lost $1.5 million in value over the past five months.

      That resulted in the following Facebook post by the North Shore's only NDP MLA, Bowinn Ma:

      "Thank you to everyone who has expressed concerns regarding recent reports that a prominent West Van Realtor publicly stated we 'should be shot' for our efforts to moderate the housing market.

      "While I've always known that being a strong advocate for action on housing affordability would make me a target for some who have benefited greatly from the out-of-control market, I will not accept threats or incitements of violence against my staff or colleagues, regardless of political stripe.

      "Standing up for the interests of the public in the face of those with wealth and power is never easy, but you can have confidence that my commitment to this work will not be waned by bullies.

      "I also believe that citizens should have free and open access to the elected officials that serve them. My staff and I go to great lengths to ensure that my North Vancouver-Lonsdale Community Office is as open, welcoming, and safe for my constituents as possible.

      "The intimidating security glass that used to separate staff from the public prior to my election has been removed, we've adorned our walls with community artwork, we stock our kid's play area for the young ones who join their parents at meetings, we actively encourage walk-ins, and always seek ways for the public to have direct interactions with their MLA whenever possible.

      "I'm committed to maintaining this warm, inviting, and open atmosphere while I work with Legislative Assembly Protective Services and North Vancouver RCMP to ensure that my staff, volunteers, and the public can continue to have confidence that our office is a safe and secure place for them to receive help and help others.

      "Thank you for your concern and your commitment to a safe, free, open democratic institution that allows room for vigorous debate while rejecting violence."

      The B.C. Liberal MLA for Vancouver-Seymour, Jane Thornthwaite, distributed Ma's Facebook post over Twitter to show her displeasure with Angell's remark.

      "Disagreeing is common in our society, but it should be done so respectfully," Thornthwaite stated. "Threates & intimidation have no place in our discourse."

      Prior to the 2017 election, Ma and B.C. Liberal Naomi Yamamoto each had some campaign signs defaced with swastikas.

      "Definitely saddened to see graffiti on election signs this week," Ma tweeted at the time. "This kind of hate has no place in #NorthVan."