The police say they have warned a St. Catharines, Ont., After calling on people on Twitter to protest outside the home of parents of the provincial legislature Sam Oosterhoff.
Tweets, since deleted, included Oosterhoff's parents' address and telephone number. He said it made him fear of their safety.
But the man behind the tweet, Rob Gill, who made a failed race for the city council over the past year, said on Monday that he has no regrets about the post and said it was the police – not him – that exceeded their limits by coming to his home.
On December 21, Gill complained: "This Christmas, let's protest @samoosterhoff and his bigot, misogynistic and homophobic personality and upbringing. "He then called on people to" protest against their parents' home "or" call them. "
Earlier this month, Gill said he could not wait to bring a big #GAY #Pride protest to Oosterhoff's office, family events, weddings, etc. After Oosterhoff had submitted pictures of his participation in a Christmas party hosted by evangelical leader Charles McVety, president of Canada's Christian College and a strong social conservative.
Niagara Regional Police confirmed in a statement Monday that they received a complaint on December 28 that others' home address had been shared on social media, a practice known as doxxing. "Officers tried to talk to the author of the social media post over the phone, but were unsuccessful," the statement said.
The following day, an officer went to the person's home to "caution them to share personal information about social media that could be perceived as harassing".
"With the proliferation of social media, our officers inform, if possible, and educate the public about what could potentially be considered criminal."
No charges were filed.
In a statement, Oosterhoff, 21, Progressive Conservative MPP for Niagara West, said he appreciates freedom of speech and welcomes all forms of feedback from his constituents. "In this case, a person posted my parents' home address and phone number on Twitter and used divergent languages, urged the public to protest against them. Fear of my family's security, I contacted the police. The police followed their own protocol, and I am grateful for their commitment to Our society. "
Gill, who says he found Oosterhoff's parents' contact information via an online search, told Posten that it was "ridiculous" for the police to come to his home when he had not committed a crime and added: "If (Oosterhoff) cannot Clear criticism online might be politics not the right job for you. "
Gill said he now regrets deleting that post and insists that the officer who visited him told him: "I did nothing wrong and I was never warned."
But an email sent by officer, Alex Shah, to Oosterhoff after Shah's visit to Gill suggests otherwise. It says, "I shouted (Gill) to avoid communicating with your (sic) via social media that he understood. If he continues to contact you with threatening messages, reveal personal information or participate in your residence, please call back to the document for future actions. "
Peter Gill, a retired inspector with Niagara Regional Police who has no relation to Rob Gill, questioned why the police had to make a house visit.
"I don't agree with the way they handled it," he told the post.
"I'm not sure (Gill) deserves a police visit because of something he wrote on Twitter."
That said, "I don't think there was a bad intent here by the police."
Oosterhoff, who at 19 became the youngest person elected to the Ontario Legislature in 2016, described himself as "100 percent pro-life" and dismissed the passage of the law later that year, giving equal parental rights to the same sex couple as " Respectful of mothers and fathers. " He once sent a link on Facebook that said homosexuality was a sin.
Asked Monday if he wanted to respond to critics who called him a bigot, he replied, "Hateful lies do not deserve the value of an answer."
For his part, Gill said he did not enjoy joining clashes with elected officials.
"I want politics to be boring again," he said.
Moments later, he went to Twitter and wrote that "he is eagerly waiting to find out how @OntarioPCParty marks my NON-CRIMINAL call to protest. "
"I guess #swatting an individual is okay in Ford Nation. Who's available for a protest?"