thumb-2024-04-04-derek-fildebrandt-washroom This article is more than 1 month old

Right-Wing Media Personality Goes Viral After Posting ‘Weird’ and ‘Creepy’ Video Recorded Inside Airport Washroom

Ottawa International Airport Authority says it is referring complaints about video recordings in its public washrooms to police

A right-wing media personality from Alberta went viral this weekend for all the wrong reasons after posting a video on social media from inside a public washroom at the Ottawa International Airport.

Derek Fildebrandt, the Publisher of the right-wing Western Standard media outlet, recorded himself exploring a public washroom before boarding a flight home to Calgary after this weekend’s conservative Canada Strong and Free Network conference.

Six different people are visible in the background of the video — half of whose faces are identifiable — while Fildebrandt criticizes the presence of a menstrual product dispenser in a men’s washroom.

At one point, one washroom user can also briefly be seen using a urinal.

Derek Fildebrandt (Twitter)

The video has been viewed over three million times and has generated thousands of comments from Canada and around the world, mostly criticizing Fildebrandt for filming inside a public washroom.

“Creepy that you’re recording in a washroom,” replied one person. “Filming in a public bathroom is weird,” replied another. “You know that is weird, right?”

Fildebrandt, a former MLA with Alberta’s United Conservative Party, would not respond to questions about his video or the obvious privacy issues created for other washroom users, but said he thought the tampon dispenser was “funny and self-evidently wasteful.”

“It doesn’t hurt anyone,” Fildebrandt acknowledged, telling PressProgress he had a “good laugh at the absurdity of taxpayers paying for free tampons in federally regulated washrooms.”

(Following publication, Fildebrandt clarified he was referring to tampon dispensers, not his video, when he stated “it doesn’t hurt anyone.”)

The federal government adopted a policy to provide access to menstrual products in all washrooms across federal workplaces last year. The policy echoes recommendations in a report on menstrual equity tabled by the Status of Women Committee, which is chaired by Conservative MP Karen Vecchio.

On Monday, the Ottawa International Airport Authority confirmed to PressProgress it’s aware of Fildebrandt’s video and is referring complaints to Ottawa Police.

“The Ottawa Airport Authority is aware of the video and monitoring for complaints,” an Ottawa International Airport Authority spokesperson told PressProgress.

“Any complaints received concerning someone filming in the public washroom at the Airport will be shared with the Ottawa Police Service for their follow-up and investigation.”

Ottawa Police say as a general policy they do not comment on any investigation into a named person, but made clear that “the Service will investigate any complaint about someone filming in a public washroom.”

“Should an incident meet a criminal threshold per the Criminal Code of Canada … a charge could be laid,” an Ottawa Police spokesperson told PressProgress.

Ottawa Police noted Section 162 of the Criminal Code, which covers voyeurism and the use of video recording devices in “circumstances that give rise to a reasonable expectation of privacy.”

Michael Spratt, an Ottawa-area criminal lawyer, says it’s clear Fildebrandt’s video was not recorded for a sexual purpose, but recording videos in public washrooms can create legal problems if it captures others on camera or causes a disturbance.

“It could most definitely attract charges, but it’s context specific,” Spratt told PressProgress.

“There aren’t any hard and fast rules about where you can film and where you can’t film under the criminal code,” Spratt explained, adding that “there is no absolute prohibition from filming in a bathroom.”

That said, because people are afforded a “high degree of privacy” inside washrooms, recording videos in a public washroom could potentially result in criminal charges ranging from voyeurism to causing a disturbance or general mischief.

“It certainly seems that they were reckless in filming in that situation and you could certainly see if you are a person who is captured in the video or is uncomfortable with someone filming in a bathroom, it could definitely be interfering with a person’s lawful enjoyment of a public place,” Spratt said.

“If these rage-baiting grifters sought legal advice before, any lawyer would tell them: ‘Don’t film in a public bathroom, that is the worst idea ever, it could definitely expose you to legal liabilities, you idiot’.”

Derek Fildebrandt (Facebook)

Fildebrandt was not the only Canada Strong and Free Network conference guest who posted images from inside the Ottawa Airport washroom.

Mark Milke, a former Fraser Institute fellow and former head of research at Jason Kenney’s “energy war room” who now serves as President of a right-wing think tank called the Aristotle Foundation for Public Policy, also posted a photo from inside the same washroom on social media.

In a statement released through a spokesperson, Milke did not directly address questions about potential violations of privacy other than to say he was “surprised” PressProgress was concerned about a “photo of an out-of-place vending machine.”

The think tank president also underlined his opposition to allowing transgender individuals into public washrooms that align with their gender identity, stating that in his opinion, that is what is “actually scandalous.”

The Canada Strong and Free Network, which was previously named the Manning Centre, featured multiple panels at its conference this year focused on issues targeting gender identity and LGBTQ+ rights.

In December, Conservative MP Michelle Ferrerri posted a video of herself marching into an empty men’s washroom on Parliament Hill to condemn the availability of menstrual products, despite being a member of a committee that recommended doing so.

Ferrerri later deleted her video from social media.



Clarification: An earlier version of this article quoted Derek Fildebrandt as insisting that “it doesn’t hurt anyone.” Following publication, Fildebrandt clarified that this statement was referring to the tampon dispenser, not his video.

Fildebrandt would not answer any questions about the video he recorded in a public washroom.


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Luke LeBrun
Luke LeBrun is the Editor of PressProgress. His reporting focuses on the federal political scene, right-wing politics as well as issues in technology, media and culture.

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