According to the head of CBC, Canadians pose a safety risk to its reporters.
In a report to Parliament, state broadcaster CEO Catherine Tait claimed her employees “face rising threats to their safety both online and in the field.”
“Our news teams are experiencing the impact of this polarization first hand as they face rising threats to their safety both online and in the field,” penned Tait in the latest Annual Report.
“The public broadcaster’s role as a source of trusted news and supporter of original Canadian stories has never been more important than in today’s increasingly polarized society,” she added.
According to Blacklock’s Reporter, the CBC claims they’ve defended media freedom to “stay on the stories that matter to you” in the face of great adversity.
“Our journalists [covered] stories that matter to you […] as they have throughout the pandemic and war in Ukraine and during the 2021 federal election and the convoy protests,” continued Tait.
“Your public broadcaster is committed to supporting accurate and credible journalism as a cornerstone of our democracy,” she claims. “We are committed to protecting the journalists, producers, cameramen and all the teams that do this work each and every day.”
The crown corporation's president failed to provide any examples of threats targeting CBC reporters, despite other organizations peddling allegations of threats against the media at the time.
Last February 25, then Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino told MPs he advised reporters to "be very careful" in dealing with convoy participants. It ultimately furthered the government's 'disinformation' campaign against protestors.
The Canadian Parliamentary Press Gallery called the demonstration 'unsafe' in a February 1, 2022 letter. It provided no evidence to substantiate the claims, reported Blacklock's Reporter.
"Protesters of the truck convoy have harassed some of our members in the last few days, and we cannot afford to be left exposed without protection for hours outside the building," wrote Catherine Levesque of the National Post, then-Press Gallery president.
No Freedom Convoy participant ever faced charges for misconduct against reporters.
During the protests, Parliament assigned a security guard to protect every reporter who left the state broadcaster’s newsroom — despite issuing a ‘fake’ security bulletin on January 28, 2022.
The Canadian Association of Journalists in a January 28, 2022 news release claimed its members suffered “threats of violence and harassment” from Convoy participants, reported Blacklock’s Reporter. They later acknowledged that all incidents of second or third hand “threats” typically involved snarky comments on Twitter.
“This was a real threat,” claimed Judy Trinh, a CBC reporter at a March 8, 2022 journalism seminar at Carleton University.
“It wasn’t just people protesting peacefully for or against vaccine mandates or mask mandates,” she added. “It was individuals who held extremist views and also had military training which made them even more dangerous.”
NDP MP Rachel Blaney earlier told the Commons “there are journalists across our country who are now terrified.” She did not identify any by name.