Police must take online threats and harassment against journalists seriously: Trudeau

·1 min read

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino will tell chiefs of police today that all police forces need to take seriously a pattern of hate and harassment targeting journalists and other public figures.

Trudeau says the threats, particularly against women and racialized journalists, have a chilling effect on a free press and democracy.

Mendicino's meeting with the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police comes as a group representing journalists asks police to do more in the midst of what appears to be a targeted and co-ordinated campaign of threatening emails.

An open letter to Trudeau signed by dozens of media organizations urges police not to see individual complaints by journalists in a vacuum.

The letter, sent by the Canadian Association of Journalists, says treating each complaint separately means police may fail to make connections when threats use similar language, as is commonly found in missives from domestic extremist groups.

Trudeau says Mendicino will make clear that police forces must see the problem as a systemic issue.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 1, 2022.

The Canadian Press