Physical attack

TVA journalist shoved by convoy protester while reporting live

TVA journalist Raymond Filion was pushed while doing a live report during a convoy protest in Ottawa. 

In a video of the incident, a protester can be seen approaching Filion from behind and shoving him. 

Filion can be heard asking the man to identify himself. “Shut your mouth!” the man replies. 

In a Feb. 22 Facebook post, Danny Di-Genova, who had been at the protest, admitted to pushing Filion and apologized. 

He said he had been “carried away by (his) emotions,” and that he apologized sincerely – but also accused journalists of having “blood on their hands,” reported Le Droit.

In the post, he said journalists, including LCN parent company TVA, are “destroying people’s lives,” and repeated a false claim that a woman had died as police broke up the protest in Ottawa: “A woman is dead and TVA has blood on their hands.”

Filion reported the incident to police, reported the Journal de Montreal. Ottawa Police told the Canada Press Freedom Project that their investigation into the incident was ongoing. 

This incident took place during the nearly month-long protest in January and February 2022, which began in Western Canada as an “On to Ottawa” demonstration of truck drivers opposed to vaccination requirements for crossing the Canada-U.S. border. The convoy gathered support from others as protesters drove across the country, arriving in Ottawa on Jan. 28, where police allowed large trucks to occupy the streets around Parliament Hill. Concurrently there were copycat blockade protests at the land border crossings to the U.S. in Windsor, Ont., Emerson, Man., Coutts, Alta. and Vancouver and Surrey, B.C.

Many reporters covering these events were harassed and assaulted by protesters who yelled obscenities, threatened them and accused them of being liars peddling “fake news,” replicating many of the slogans and chants associated with supporters of Donald Trump in the United States. Far-right groups said they hoped the convoy would be “Canada’s Jan. 6,” the 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol in Washington.

Surrey RCMP said they have begun an investigation into the harassment of the media by conducting interviews with journalists and collecting video about “acts of aggression and intimidation” at a local protest.

After the federal government invoked the Emergencies Act on Feb. 14, large numbers of police broke up the Ottawa occupation between Feb. 18 and 21, arresting 196 protesters and removing 115 vehicles from the streets near Parliament Hill. Police also broke up blockades across the country during the same period of time.