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Threats against PM Trudeau, cabinet rising in 2020: RCMP records

Threats against PM Trudeau, cabinet rising in 2020: RCMP records
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OTTAWA -- RCMP data show threats made against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet are on the rise in the first half of 2020 compared to 2019 numbers, CTV News has confirmed.

From January to July there have been approximately 130 threat files collected by the RCMPs National Division Protective Operations unit, compared to 100 made during the same time period the year prior. There were a total of 215 threats for the entire 2019 year.

This new information comes on the heels of a number of high-profile incidents threatening the security of Trudeau, Governor General Julie Payette, and most recently, Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna.

On July 2, an armed man gained entry onto the grounds of Rideau Hall where Payette and Trudeaus family have residences. After breaching the front pedestrian gates, he was arrested by RCMP and later charged with 22 criminal offences. According to court documents, he uttered threats against the prime minister.

Neither Payette nor Trudeau and his family were at home during the incident.

McKenna is addressing an event that occurred at her constituency office in Ottawa last week when a man filmed himself yelling obscenities at one of her office staff.

"Unfortunately, it is not a one-off or an isolated occurrence," "My family, my staff and I deal with abusive behavior on a regular basis. This is unacceptable and I am committed to working across party lines to make it stop. It is also the kind of behaviour that discourages women from entering politics."

McKenna last spoke out about the issue when her office was vandalized with a sexist slur after her re-election last October.

"If I knew what I know now about the abuses you have to take, I would certainly have a second thought and thats what I dont want. I dont want women and others to not step into politics because theyre worried about their safety," she told a group of reporters this week.

During testimony to the House justice committee last year ahead of the federal election, Canadas top bureaucrat, Clerk of the Privy Council Michael Wernick, warned of the impact of widespread hateful, and violent political speak.

"I worry about the rising tides of incitements to violence, when people use terms like treason and traitor in open discourse. Those are the words that lead to assassination. Im worried that somebody is going to be shot in this country this year, during the federal campaign," he said during his opening statement.

The RCMPs National Protective Operations branch provides security to the prime minister, the governor general, the ministers of the crown, Supreme Court justices, the diplomatic community, internationally protective persons, and others identified by public safety as requiring protection.
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