August 30, 2018 9:51 pm

Parti Québécois candidate apologizes for alleging Quebec blogger is a pedophile

Michelle Blanc claimed a Quebec blogger Xavier Camus "liked little girls who are 15 years old."

Jacques Boissinot/The Canadian Press

A candidate for the Parti Québécois has issued a public apology after she alleged a Quebec blogger was a pedophile on social media.

“I published yesterday on Twitter a false claim without any foundation concerning Mr. Xavier Camus,” said Michelle Blanc, the candidate for the Montreal riding of Mercier, on Twitter late Thursday evening.

“Obviously, I retract and sincerely apologize for the harm that it has done to Mr. Camus and his family.”

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READ MORE: Parti Québécois candidate ousted for anti-Muslim remarks

Camus, a philosophy professor at CEGEP Ahuntstic in Montreal, sent a cease-and-desist letter to Blanc early Thursday after she said he “liked little girls who are 15 years old.”

“This is unbecoming of a politician who aspires to the highest office,” he wrote in a Facebook post.

In her subsequent apology, Blanc said she hoped her mistake could serve as a lesson for others.

“I know what it is to be attacked unfairly and personally on social networks, which should have made me even more vigilant and cautious,” she said.

Blanc’s comments came one day after Camus had published on his blog a series of anti-Muslim remarks made on social media by Pierre Marcotte, another would-be PQ candidate.

After the social media posts surfaced, Marcotte was quickly ousted from the party on Wednesday — the same day he was supposed to be formally named as PQ candidate for the Drummond-Bois-Francs riding.

READ MORE: Stéphane Le Bouyonnec, Coalition Avenir Québec president and candidate, steps down

When asked about Marcotte’s views, PQ Leader Jean-François Lisée said he was disgusted by the comments and admitted the party hadn’t properly vetted the candidate.

“We fundamentally disagree with some of his opinions, his writings,” Lisée said.

‘We are all human’

The PQ stood by its embattled candidate on the eighth day of the provincial election campaign.

Lisée defended Blanc, saying he forgave her because she had quickly issued an apology for her remarks.

“We are all human,” he said.

Voters head to the polls on Oct. 1.

— With files from The Canadian Press

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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