Prime Minister Justin Trudeau teed off on Rebel News journalist Tamara Ugolini after Wednesday's federal leadership debate after asking Trudeau why their news organization had to fight the federal government in court to ask him questions post-debate.
Trudeau held no punches, calling the Rebel a website that spreads "misinformation and disinformation" regarding COVID data.
Trudeau also said that the Rebel — which he refused to call a media organization — was "partly responsible" for the "polarization we see in this country."
"The reality is organizations — organizations like yours that continue to spread misinformation and disinformation on the science around vaccines, around how we're going to actually get through this pandemic, and be there for each other, and keep our kids safe is part of why we see such unfortunate anger and lack of understanding of basic science," said the prime minister.
"Quite frankly, your — I won't call it a media organization — your group of individuals need to account for some of the polarization that we see in this country, and I think Canadians are clueing in to the fact that there is a critical decision we take about the kind of country we want to see."
"I salute all extraordinary, hard-working journalists that put science and facts at the heart of what they do, and ask me tough questions every day but make sure that they are educating and informing Canadians from a broad range of perspectives, which is the last thing that you guys do," he concluded.
Rebel v. Trudeau
Earlier today, it was decided that eleven journalists would be permitted to cover the national leaders' debate in Quebec following an emergency hearing.
The debate commission had initially denied the request of the eleven Rebel journalists.
Global News noted the commission initially denied the Rebel News accreditation request, stating the organization violated its "conflict-of-interest rules" because it is actively involved in campaigns.
According to Rebel News, "Justice Elizabeth Heneghan agreed with us that Justin Trudeau's hand-picked debates commission was wrong to have excluded our Rebel News reporters from attending the leader's debates."
Heneghan also wrote that Rebel News "has satisfied the test for a mandatory interlocutory injunction."
This was not the first time the debate commission has banned conservative media from attending the debates. In 2019, Rebel News and True North Centre were excluded, leading to a similar injunction, forcing the commission to accredit the outlets.