Ugly and stupid, as censorship efforts tend to become over time anyway. This incident involving a Rebel News reporter and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police puts an extra dollop on both counts, especially with it playing out entirely on video.
Menzies wanted an answer from Canada’s finance minister Chrystia Freeland about why Justin Trudeau’s government had not designated the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization. Menzies asked a series of questions along these lines while walking down a sidewalk, with a Rebel News videographer capturing the entire sequence. It’s the kind of question-and-no-answer scene that’s more or less de rigueur in the US, and entirely harmless.
That is, it was harmless until a plainclothes RCMP officer deliberately moved into Menzies’ path while he wasn’t looking, and then practically mugged the reporter while arresting him for “assault.” That allowed Freeland to walk away without ever answering a legitimate policy question — and for the RCMP to intimidate and silence Menzies and anyone who questions Trudeau’s policies.
The CBC has the video and coverage of the backlash against the RCMP, which appears to be building:
To call that an “assault”” is absurd, and it didn’t take long for the footage to create a wave of criticism of the RCMP and the government. Global News reports today that the backlash (and the obvious thug tactics in the video) has forced the RCMP to “review” the incident and the behavior of “involved parties”:
The RCMP is reviewing an interaction that had Rebel News commentator David Menzies arrested while trying to ask Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland a question outside an event.
Sgt. Kim Chamberland says the RCMP is “looking into the incident” and the actions of the involved parties, and declined further comment.
Meanwhile, Rebel News founder Ezra Levant told CTV News that he plans to sue the RCMP, Freeland, and York Regional Police (YRP) for false arrest. As CTV notes in the video, Menzies and the RCMP have a history, which may explain the officer’s blocking move to concoct an assault charge:
Rebel News posted an opinion piece and video of the incident on Tuesday, which it called “despicable,” showing reporter David Menzies getting arrested. Menzies’ cameraman Lincoln Jay filmed the incident.
Rebel News founder Ezra Levant told CTV News in an email that his outlet has retained legal counsel and expects to launch legal action as early as this week. He said Rebel News is suing the police and Freeland, accusing them of false arrest, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution and assault.
It turns out that the RCMP personnel involved in the arrest was Trudeau’s security detail:
YRP told CTV News Menzies’ arrest was made by the prime minister’s RCMP security detail, and its officers assisted because the interaction took place in York Region. Once it was determined that no credible security threat existed, YRP said it released Menzies unconditionally.
It certainly looks like Trudeau’s security detail decided to trap Menzies out of some kind of grudge, as well as to keep Freeland from having to answer Menzies’ questions. The only problem with this plan is that it didn’t account for the video, which exposes the ludicrous and obvious trap set by the RCMP to arrest a Trudeau critic in the media. Regardless of who bumped into whom, the brushing contact was clearly unintentional on Menzies’ part and so minor as to be laughable. “Assault” requires some level of intent, and the video clearly shows that Menzies didn’t even see the RCMP officer before he stepped into Menzies’ way.
For that ugly abuse of police power, the officer and the detail should be relieved of duty. But for the stupidity of doing all of this while Rebel News filmed the entire sequence, the RCMP should fire all of them.
Jonathan Turley has a short and acidic take on Trudeau’s Canada:
Last week, we discussed the irony of how a Russian dissident was denied Canadian citizenship due to a conviction in Russia for speaking against the Ukrainian war (from Canada). Since Canada has the same criminalization of speech laws, Maria Kartasheva was pulled from her ceremony pending further investigation into whether she is a criminal practitioner of free speech.
The arrest of Menzies raises the same comparison to the approach of governments like Putin’s to critics.
Indeed. However, don’t be surprised if similar tactics don’t get used by security details protecting progressive officials in the US who get scrutiny from reporters, especially from conservative media outlets. The Secret Service is too professional to engage in such behavior (and the risks are too high), but local and state-government officials may look at the RCMP’s tactics at some point and figure that could work for them here.
In other words, we may not yet be Trudeau’s Canada — but don’t think for a moment that our ruling progressive elite can’t become that ugly and stupid.
The only check on that impulse is a free market for news and analysis that can operate without financial pressure from the same progressive elite, either in government, Big Tech, or the supine traditional media outlets that cover for the elites. Many of our readers have joined the fight as part of our VIP and VIP Gold membership, and they have been crucial to our operations as an independent platform and the ability to debate all of the issues honestly.