Trudeau says police must take threats against journalists seriously

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino will tell police chiefs today that all police forces must take seriously a trend of hate and harassment targeting journalists and others public figures.

Trudeau says threats, especially 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 calls on police to do more amid what appears to be a targeted and coordinated campaign of threatening emails.

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

The letter, sent by the Canadian Association of Journalists, says handling each complaint separately means police may not make connections when threats use similar language, as is commonly found in missives from domestic extremist groups.

Trudeau says Mendicino will make it clear that police forces need to view the issue as a systemic problem.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on September 1, 2022.