OCAD University announced cancellation in tweet, didn't say why
A Toronto mayoral debate set to take place on Thursday night has been cancelled after multiple candidates pulled out of the event amid an alleged threat.
Three Toronto mayoral hopefuls indicated their public campaign activities were disrupted on Thursday as 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 had what appeared to be a firearm, according to a news release. It's unclear if any mayoral candidates were present at the location.
Police are still searching for the 29-year-old, wanted for allegedly threatening bodily harm, carrying a concealed weapon and possession of a dangerous weapon.
Candidates Ana Bailão, Brad Bradford, Chloe Brown, Olivia Chow, Josh Matlow and Mitzie Hunter were scheduled to face off in a debate at OCAD University on Thursday night.
But hours before the scheduled debate, the university tweeted tweeted it had been cancelled. No reason was provided.
Police said they had not advised candidates to cancel any appearances, but would be present at the debate.
On Thursday afternoon, Josh Matlow announced he would not attend the debate and he said in a tweet that his campaign office will be closed until the suspect is caught.
Mark Saunders also said he wouldn't attend the debate, according to his spokesperson.
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 made against candidates earlier on Thursday.
Mitzie Hunter said in a statement that she would be suspending her campaign activities for the rest of the day out of an abundance of caution for volunteers and members of the public. She said she will reassess campaign events on Friday.
Ana Bailão said she plans to continue all of her campaign activities and that she will not be intimidated.
Chloe Brown, another candidate, said in a text that she had "no intention" of cancelling public appearances and doesn't believe the threats were directed at her or her team.
The suspect is described as 6 feet 1 inch, 180 pounds with black hair in locks. Police say he should be considered armed and dangerous.
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