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Premier Eby denounces death threat against former minister Robinson

Eby said Thursday police continue to investigate the threat against Robinson, who is said to be safe
Premier David Eby, here seen Monday, Feb. 5, following the resignation over former post-secondary education minister Selina Robinson has denounced a death threat against her. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ethan Cairns)

Police continue to investigate a death threat against former post-secondary minister Selina Robinson, but details are sparse.

“We can confirm that an investigation is underway, but we are not in a position at this time to discuss any specifics or provide any other details,” Staff-Sgt. Kris Clark, senior media relations officer, for RCMP E Division, said Friday (Feb. 9).

News of the death threat broke Thursday, drawing condemnation from B.C. premier David Eby.

“Selina Robinson recently received a death threat,” Eby said on X, formerly known as Twitter Thursday (Feb. 8). “Hatred and violence are completely unacceptable in B.C. There is no excuse, ever. She is safe and the police are investigating to find the person responsible.”

While police continue to investigate the details of the threat, its existence marks an escalation of attacks against Robinson, who resigned from cabinet Monday (Feb. 5), following days of protest over comments she had made during a forum with Jewish public officials. During that discussion, she called pre-1948 Israel “a crappy piece of land with nothing on it,” which many have considered to be distorting of history and racist.

“They (youth) don’t understand that it was a crappy piece of land with nothing on it,” Robinson said. “You know, there were several hundred thousand people but other than that, it didn’t produce an economy. It couldn’t grow things it didn’t have anything on it, and that it was the folks that were displaced that came and had been living there for generations and together they worked hard and they had their own battles.”

Robinson apologized for her comments shortly after making them, then again Monday (Feb. 5) and promised to take anti-Islamophobia training. But her place in cabinet became increasingly untenable, leading to her departure.

Following her resignation on Monday, an X account calling itself Canadian Antifa Tuesday (Feb. 6) posted images of graffiti on Robinson’s constituency office. Signs included slogans like Zionism is Nazism and urged Robinson, who is Jewish, to resign from the NDP caucus in accusing her of being a racist.

Eby subsequently denounced those actions as vandalism and spreading hate, a message echoed by others.

Coquitlam RCMP Wednesday said in a release that its officers found no physical damage at Robinson’s office but also asked the public for additional information as part of a release titled ‘no mischief at Coquitlam MLA office.’

In the wake of the threats and vandalism various voices including MLAs have come to Robinson’s defence. Penticton MLA Dan Ashton of BC United said Thursday on X that many elected officials have said things that they have subsequently apologized for.

“The hate and vitriol that has been directed at Selina Robinson, in my view, has no place in our democracy,” he said. “In challenging times we should strive to share our differences peacefully (and) respectfully.”

Wolf Depner

About the Author: Wolf Depner

I joined the national team with Black Press Media in 2023 from the Peninsula News Review, where I had reported on Vancouver Island's Saanich Peninsula since 2019.
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