KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – The P.C. candidate vying for former Premier Stephen McNeil’s seat is facing scrutiny following comments made that sought to threaten and intimidate cyclists.
A Facebook post from 2018 shows Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative Candidate Jennifer Ehrenfeld-Poole angrily expressing her beliefs that cyclists should be licensed and insured the same way as drivers, and displaying intimidating and threatening sentiment towards bike riders.
“Dear bicyclers, if you wish for me to share the roads with you I wish for you to register, plate, and insure your bicycle the same as I have to my trucks,” Ehrenfeld-Poole’s post reads. “Until then get the [expletive] over because I will be beside you within a hair of my mirror and dually fender so that you can feel extra breeze on you as I go by wishing I could get away with running you completely over.”
The post is being circulated by constituents in the District of Annapolis.
A request for comment to the Progressive Conservatives garnered the following response:
During our candidate recruitment process we work very hard to ensure that we have frank discussions and really get to know someone.
Jennifer voluntarily told us about this situation quite some time ago. We discussed it and we are confident that she is someone who cares deeply about the community.
In April, Jennifer reached out to the cycling community to explain the circumstances of the incident referenced in the post. She has continued to build on that relationship. Evidence of that productive relationship can be found in this July 19th Facebook post from John Trites, VP Road & Bikeways Advocacy for Bicycle Nova Scotia:
“I am the VP of Roadways and Bikeways Advocacy for Bicycle Nova Scotia. There is a considerable backstory to this, and I took it on as part of my role with BNS. Jennifer Ehrenfeld-Poole wrote a letter to BNS highlighting her actual feelings towards cyclists, and supporting a number of initiatives which BNS believes with (sic) enhance the safety of all cyclists including the paving of all shoulders on secondary roads as part of repaving projects and for new construction, and support in principle for the Active Transportation Plan put forth by Bicycle Nova Scotia. Her business is one of the primary sponsors of the Heart of the Valley Century Ride and has been for a number of years.
While we took these allegations very seriously, we were satisfied that Jennifer was remorseful about the comments, and that she genuinely wants a good outcome for both cyclists and motorists, and she also understands the tourism benefits to her area to have bike-friendly roads in Annapolis County and all over Nova Scotia.
This is very old news and I suggest you let it drop. It has been dealt with and I believe Jennifer is on our side.”
Phone calls made to Ehrenfeld-Poole’s campaign for comment were dropped after identifying The Nova Scotia Advocate.
Ehrenfeld-Poole’s campaign refused to provide comment to The Nova Scotia Advocate.
After being hung up on following my identification as a reporter, the person associated with the campaign, in a subsequent call, said he was “too busy” to comment and ended the call. Efforts made to reach her campaign’s Facebook page were met with “no comment” and being redirected to the PC Party.
Ehrenfeld-Poole’s business in Annapolis County became the subject of an investigation by the Environment Department earlier this year, after the discovery of autofluff in a Nova Scotia landfill last fall. While Ehrenfeld-Poole, the site owner, told CBC News the leftover car materials were authorized by the Department of Environment, the Department says a 2018 amendment request was rejected, and autofluff was never authorized at the landfill.
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