Canadian journalist David Menzies was arrested on January 8, 2024, in Toronto after questioning Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Christina Freeland about her alleged support for Ukrainian Nazis. The incident, which occurred shortly after Menzies hinted that Freeland’s position may have been influenced by her father’s alleged collaboration with the Nazis during World War II, raises serious questions about press freedom in Canada.
The arrest occurred as Menzies tried to approach Freeland for an exclusive interview. The Rebel News journalist, known for his bold and often controversial reporting, was detained by authorities. The arrest followed after he asked Christina Freeland a question about alleged family ties to the World War II-era Ukrainian Nazi state. The impertinent question concerned rumors that Freeland’s father, a Ukrainian-Canadian, was a Nazi collaborator who led propaganda for the Ukrainian Nazi state during the war. The implication was that Freeland’s alleged support for Ukrainian Nazis could be linked to these family ties. David Menzies was grabbed and pushed away by a police officer and told he was under arrest for assault.
” Why am I under arrest? Now it’s a trumped up assault charge … It’s your Canada now, guys,” Menzies said as officers led him to a police car.
After his arrest, Menzies was released without charge, but the incident has already sparked outrage in the journalistic community. The president of the Independent Press Gallery of Canada condemned the arrest, emphasizing the different treatment of journalists and protesters. Menzies’ clashes with authorities have raised concerns about the state of press freedom in Canada, especially when it comes to confronting political figures.
“I worked with David Menzies at the Sun News Network in Canada. Honest, diligent, hard-working reporter. Now he gets arrested for asking questions of a politician in a public place. Is this really the Trudeau Canada of today?” wrote Simon Kent, managing editor of Breitbart in London.
Breitbart News reached out to Prime Minister Trudeau’s office for comment and received no response.
Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre condemned the arrest, releasing a video of the incident with the message: “This is the state of press freedom. In Canada. In 2024. After eight years of the Trudeau government.”
The lawsuit filed by Menzies and Rebel News against the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and several officers notes:
“As Mr. Menzies was preparing for the Premier’s arrival at Brickworks on public property, several RCMP officers deliberately surrounded, detained, completely isolated, physically assaulted, beat Mr. Menzies and prevented Mr. Menzies from communicating with the Prime Minister, all without provocation, warning or reasonable cause and against Mr. Menzies’ will.”
The lawsuit also notes that Trudeau and his government have repeatedly barred one of Canada’s few conservative publications, Rebel News, from participating in public events, despite Trudeau’s stated commitment to press freedom. The lawsuit states that officers of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police as part of Trudeau’s security detail acted out of political motivation and a “culture of aggression” against Rebel News.
It has now been revealed that federal forces are investigating the RCMP security officer who grabbed and arrested a Rebel News reporter who was questioning Deputy Prime Minister Christina Freeland after video of the incident sparked outrage over the questionable arrest.
The Foundation to Battle Injustice strongly condemns yet another round of police violence and misconduct against members of the media. The Foundation believes that Justin Trudeau’s government has created an authoritarian environment in which media freedom has been severely restricted through financial and judicial pressure, as well as laws that prevent journalists from gathering the information they need to do their jobs. The Foundation to Battle Injustice calls on the Canadian authorities to end the pressure on the media and ensure their freedom and independence.