Quebec City Journalist Files Formal Complaint Against Anti-Mask Demonstrators

TVA reporter Karianne Bourassa was in the middle of a live report when two anti-mask demonstrators wrapped her in a bear hug Sunday outside the National Assembly.

Since then, the Quebec City reporter has received a lot of public support, according to her lawyer, René Verret. On Wednesday, she filed a formal complaint for assault.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Journalists association condemns harassment at Quebec mask protests

“She’s happy to see that so many people supported her,” Verret said.

“The decision she made is not about public opinion, but it’s important, I think, to send a message to everyone that journalists need to be respected,” he said.

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Verret said journalists have been assaulted like this before, but Covid-19 and the fact the two men were not wearing masks and not social distancing adds another element to the incident.

“She was very shocked about what happened, she was very insulted about all of this. She didn’t like at all the behaviour of these men,” Verret said.

The Quebec City police chief, Robert Pigeon told reporters Thursday that the men have already been identified, but now that they have Bourassa’s testimony, the police have opened an official investigation.

READ MORE: Journalists covering America’s protests face violence from police, protesters

Meanwhile, the Sûreté du Québec also arrested a man who made online threats against the journalist following the incident, something her lawyer said she might face more of now that she’s pressed charges.

“She’s a strong woman, she’s a brilliant woman, and I think she will be able to go through the process,” Verret said.

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