Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks to media after a visit with nursing students at the School of Nursing in the St Boniface University in Winnipeg, Thursday, September 1, 2022. 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. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks to media after a visit with nursing students at the School of Nursing in the St Boniface University in Winnipeg, Thursday, September 1, 2022. 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. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

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

PM says the threats have chilling effect on a free press and democracy

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.

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Justin TrudeauMedia industry

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