The woman who allegedly travelled from New York to Burlington to ram a tofu cream pie into the face of a cabinet minister is a mother and compassionate person who wants to go home to her family, said her lawyer James Silver outside court yesterday.
Emily McCoy, 37, of New York, was released on bail after appearing in a Milton court shortly before 5 p.m. yesterday with the promise to appear again on Feb. 24 at 9 a.m.
She is charged with assault with a weapon in relation to the pieing of Fisheries and Oceans Minister Gail Shea in Burlington on Monday.
McCoy allegedly yelled "shame" to Shea over the minister's support of Canada's seal hunt. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, of which McCoy is a member, took credit for the incident after it happened.
"It's an absolutely terrifying experience," Silver said of detainment. "For Ms McCoy in particular, she's a mother, she's a very compassionate individual, she cares greatly about everyone, including the animals, which she is now in custody in relation to demanding to protect."
Wearing a green track suit with her blond, wavy hair loose, McCoy left the courthouse shortly before 5 p.m. and walked to her lawyer's car. Other than to say that she was OK, McCoy deferred all questions to Silver.
"Her immediate plan is to go home to her family, to her child," Silver said. The terms of her release and discussions in court are protected by a publication ban.
She did not enter a plea in court; rather, Silver said the decision on how to proceed will be made after the Crown discloses evidence.
Silver is a criminal lawyer from Toronto. He said he was hired by McCoy and not PETA.
Halton police Sergeant Brian Carr said while police made the arrest, any question about security at the event has to be answered by the Canada Centre for Inland Waters.
The pieing took place at the centre during the media-only opening of the Aquatic Life Research Facility. Ministers do not travel with their own security detail; the centre co-ordinated security.
Staff at the centre would not comment, as the case is before the courts.
The centre is overseen by Environment Canada, which also declined comment on the case.
After the pieing, Shea said the attack won't faze her support of the sealing industry. She added that she trusts police to investigate.
However, a Newfoundland and Labrador Liberal MP said yesterday he believes the federal government should investigate whether the incident constitutes an act of terrorism.
"When someone actually coaches or conducts criminal behaviour to impose a political agenda on each and every other citizen of Canada, that does seem to me to meet the test of a terrorist organization," MP Gerry Byrne said in a radio interview.
Tags: Fisheries Minister Gail Shea, face full, peta, protester, caught, video, tofu cream pie, terrorist act, arrested, speech
Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada (load item map)
Marked as: repost
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