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The federal Conservatives say other political parties have blocked their call for a parliamentary committee to examine how a Rebel News commentator was treated by the RCMP this week when he asked Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland a question.

The Conservatives have been seeking support of the NDP and Bloc Québécois to reconvene the House of Commons heritage committee, despite MPs being on a winter break until the end of the month. They want a review of what happened on Monday when Rebel’s David Menzies asked Ms. Freeland why the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is not listed as a terrorist group.

Ms. Freeland was walking outside prior to attending an event in Richmond Hill, Ont., to honour the victims of Flight 752 when she was asked the question by Mr. Menzies, but she did not respond to his query.

Four years ago, Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 was shot down minutes after taking off from Tehran by two Iranian surface-to-air missiles. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government has faced calls, including from the Conservatives, to name the the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist group. On Monday, Mr. Trudeau said his government continues to “look for ways to responsibly list the IRGC as a terrorist organization.”

In a video filmed by a Rebel News videographer, Mr. Menzies can be seen being confronted by a member of the RCMP on Monday after he approached Ms. Freeland. He is told he is under arrest for assault and can be seen later in the video recording being placed in handcuffs.

“This is an absolute outrage,” Mr. Menzies said in the video. “I didn’t come here to cause trouble, folks. I just came here to ask questions.”

When asked about the matter, RCMP sergeant Kim Chamberland said the force’s protective policing resources were involved in an incident while deployed on a protective operation involving Ms. Freeland.

“The RCMP is looking into the incident and the actions of all parties involved,” Sgt. Chamberland said. “No further comment is available at this time.”

Marilyn Gladu, an Ontario Conservative MP, said Wednesday on X, formerly known as Twitter, that the NDP and Bloc are “blocking Heritage Committee from being recalled to scrutinize Monday’s egregious attack on press freedom.”

Peter Julian, the NDP critic for Canadian Heritage, said there is already a review of this incident and “we don’t need the Conservatives’ political games.”

“Astonishingly, they seem to have forgotten that they reacted similarly to the Liberals in their own encounters with this same individual who is known for his harmful stances,” Mr. Julian said.

The Bloc has yet to comment.

Police have previously interacted with Mr. Menzies at political events, according to Rebel News reports. He was removed from an Andrew Scheer event in 2019. Another incident involved Melissa Lantsman when she was a candidate in 2021. Ms. Lantsman is now the party’s deputy leader. At the time, she issued a statement saying that she took questions from a number of outlets, including Mr. Menzies, and that she ended the interview when the line of questioning became “homophobic and related to my sexual orientation.”

The incident this week involving Mr. Menzies and the RCMP has sparked criticism, including from Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre and from Rebel News.

“This is the state of freedom of the press. In Canada. In 2024. After 8 years of Trudeau,” Mr. Poilievre said on X.

Mr. Poilievre’s party set up a website that allows for individuals to sign their names and show support to “Stop Censoring Canadian Journalists.” It says the incident shows Mr. Trudeau “has created an environment of censorship and has sought to limit the right of Canadians to freedom of expression.”

In a video with Mr. Menzies, Rebel News publisher Ezra Levant said he is glad that his colleague is free. He called the incident “atrocious” and commended Mr. Menzies for how he handled the situation.

“You kept your cool,” Mr. Levant said to Mr. Menzies.

Environment minister must unblock Rebel News founder Ezra Levant on X under court order

Clint Whitney, a spokesperson for York Regional Police, said Mr. Menzies was arrested by the RCMP security detail at the event in Richmond Hill.

York police assisted with the arrest and later determined there was no credible security threat, Mr. Whitney said, adding that Mr. Menzies was released.

Mr. Levant told The Globe and Mail in a statement on Wednesday that Rebel has retained legal counsel and it has instructed them to pursue the RCMP, York Regional Police and Ms. Freeland on behalf of Mr. Menzies and Rebel News. He said he did not know exactly when the claim will be filed.

He said while the lawsuit has not been finalized, he suspects the causes of action could include “false arrest, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, negligent investigation and assault.”

“In addition to regular damages, we will assert that David’s and Rebel News’s Charter rights have been violated,” Mr. Levant said.

The Rebel has also asked its supporters to help raise money for Mr. Menzies’ legal fight.

Ms. Freeland’s office did not comment on the matter when contacted on Wednesday.

Mr. Trudeau receives security from the Prime Minister’s protective security detail operated by the RCMP.

With a report from Molly Hayes in Toronto and The Canadian Press

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