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Concern for freezing homeless prompted Bronco pieing

The woman who pied Mayor Dave Bronconnier last week says she did it because the mayor isn’t helping the homeless despite people freezing on the streets.

“The way he hasn’t addressed the crisis it’s a crime” says Donna McPhee a prominent anti-poverty activist. “A pie is a little less humiliating than what they’re doing to low-income people.”

McPhee originally set out to pie Premier Ed Stelmach on July 12 but couldn’t find him. She saw Bronconnier passing Olympic Plaza so she followed him to the corner and waited behind him at the light.

“He’s a tall man so I stood on my tiptoes and tapped him on the shoulder” she says. When Bronconnier turned McPhee says she put the pie in his face and told him “that’s your just desserts mayor.” Initially she stayed where she was as Bronconnier took the pie off his face.

“If you’re gonna do something you might as well stay behind and say why you did it” McPhee laughs. “He said ‘someone grab this woman!’; no one was doing anything.” Eventually an undercover cop dressed as a cowboy showed up and pushed McPhee to the ground. She was charged with assault with a weapon and released later that day. She will appear in court next month.

Two days earlier Stelmach avoided getting pied at his Stampede breakfast. Lily Phan subsequently told Fast Forward that she tried to pie the premier to raise awareness about the housing crisis and the environmental destruction being wrought by oilsands development. She was arrested after the incident and charged with mischief and assaulting a peace officer. She also has a court date next month.

Four years ago Chris Geoghegan pied Ralph Klein at the then-premier’s Stampede breakfast. He was later sentenced to 30 days in jail.