NDP Critic for Women and Gender Equality Leah Gazan issued the following statement:
TW: threats of sexual violence, harassment, and abuse
One of the pillars of a functioning democracy is the protection of freedom of the press that ensures journalists have the ability to transparently report on matters of public interest. This includes reporting on stories that hold individuals in positions of power to account.
Harassment, abuse, and any other forms of violence is a direct attack on that fundamental right.
Recently, it has come to our attention that female journalists, primarily Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC), who are simply doing their jobs have been subjected to abuse and violence that include rape and death threats. These violent threats have not only been made against them, but also their families and supporters. The misogyny, racism, and violence that they have been subjected to has been revolting and scary.
In one recent instance, a journalist was emailed explicit threats of sexual violence and, in another, a journalist and her family were threatened and harassed by someone who allegedly owned guns. These types of violent occurrences are becoming more violent and frequent. This behaviour must be condemned and it is time we are intentional about naming what is fueling these violent attacks.
The source of this violence is misogyny, racism rooted in white supremacy, the rise of right-wing nationalism, and far-right rhetoric that is emboldening people to lash out primarily at BIPOC journalists for doing their jobs to objectively scrutinize and report activities coming from these movements.
New Democrats call on all our colleagues in Parliament to stand in solidarity and support the safety of journalists. I also call on the federal government to take steps to act on calls from the Canadian Association of Journalists to respond to threats and take them seriously. We all have a responsibility to have zero tolerance for any form of violence.
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