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  • The Biking Lawyer Team

Incitement of Anti-Cyclist Violence







Dave Shellnutt

800.725.0754

dave@thebikinglawyer.ca

www.thebikinglawyer.ca




March 1, 2024

 

Councillor Stephen Holyday

Toronto City Hall

100 Queen Street West, Suite B26

Toronto, ON M5H 2N2

 

Re: Incitement of Anti-Cyclist Violence

 

On February 28, 2024, you hosted a town hall in Etobicoke addressing the City of Toronto’s cycling plan. You invited members of the public and City Staff. We understand that the event quickly transformed into an anti-cycling free-for-all, wherein City Staff were berated, and members of the public felt unsafe. Some of the worst elements in our society, racism and untethered conspiratorial thought were on display. We have spoken to several people who for their own safety felt they had to leave the meeting early.

 

We are aware of at least one threat made against people on bikes by an unknown white male who said regarding cyclists:


“Personally, I’d like to run them over to get them out of my way.”

 

At no time was this person admonished by you or asked to leave.

 

At no time was anti-cycling rhetoric or general uncivil behaviour addressed. This acquiescence is tantamount to complicity. Members of the public, particularly people on bikes are incredibly concerned with how this event unfolded. To be sure Councillor, many of us consider it a planned and deliberate attempt on your part to stoke dangerous undercurrents for your own political ends.

 

We represent numerous cyclists injured in collisions with motorists. Terrifyingly, we also represent cyclists who have purposely had motor vehicles weaponized against them.

 

Acts of criminality normalized by behaviours we observed at your town hall.

 

Should any cyclist be deliberately targeted in the wake of your town hall, we intend to place blame and legal liability in all quarters for such reprehensible acts.

Stoking division amongst community members/road users and targeting people who are particularly vulnerable on our streets are acts we vehemently oppose. They are indeed acts unbefitting of a Councillor’s office.

 

Cycling is an essential part of our infrastructure and future in Toronto. You may dislike that idea, but its imperative you get used to it.

 

Kind Regards,


 






Dave Shellnutt

Lawyer & Advocate

 

Cc: City Officials, TPS, community stakeholders, and news media.


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