Quebec politician files police complaint over hateful online messages
By the Canadian Press
Christine Labrie raised issue of internet abuse in legislature last month
MONTREAL (CP) — A Quebec legislature member who has highlighted the online hate and abuse faced by female politicians has taken her complaints to police.
Quebec solidaire member Christine Labrie wrote on Facebook that she filed the complaints in her Sherbrooke riding on Friday.
Labrie raised the issue of online abuse against female politicians last month when she read out a series of insulting and threatening messages that she and other women in her caucus had received.
At the time, she said that while all public figures receive their share of insults, hateful messages, and even calls for suicide, women are particularly targeted.
“It’s been largely documented that women are subjected to more violence than men — up to 27 times more, according to some estimates — and women in politics are particularly targeted, regardless of where they are on the left-right spectrum,” she told the legislature in late November.
“The more they express themselves publicly, the more violence they experience.”
In her Facebook message posted Sunday, Labrie said she decided to file the complaints “because it’s important for me to act consistently with what I say.”
She said the experience made her feel better but also made her understand why women are reluctant to come forward. She wrote that the process was time-consuming and also made her question whether her case was serious enough to report.
“The most publicized cases of harassment or threats are generally very intense, so we ask ourselves if our situation is serious enough to warrant a complaint,” she said.
However, she said the police treated her with patience and respect, and she left the station with a sense of accomplishment.