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Man appears in court for alleged threats against Quebec’s public health director

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Arruda has faced a barrage of insults online from people who disagree with public health measures put in place to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Arruda has faced a barrage of insults online from people who disagree with public health measures put in place to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot

A 45-year-old man appeared in court via telephone Friday for allegedly making threats against Quebec’s public health director, Horacio Arruda.

The man was arrested Thursday in Drummondville, Que., about 100 kilometres northeast of Montreal.

A spokesman for Quebec’s public prosecutions office confirmed that Sylvain Marcoux faces two charges of making threats and one of intimidating a justice system participant.

He has been released from custody pending his next court appearance.

READ MORE: Dr. Arruda defends his decision to file a complaint with police following private information leak

Arruda has said he filed a complaint with Quebec provincial police last week after some personal information, including an address, was shared on social media.

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Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Arruda has faced a barrage of insults online from people who disagree with public health measures put in place to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Asked about the case Friday afternoon, Arruda told reporters that he and his partner were concerned by what was posted on social media.

But he said the incident demonstrates that there can be consequences for posting threatening messages online.

“I don’t think we need violence in Quebec in the context of COVID-19,” Arruda said. “We have the right to have a different opinion and we can express it, but we don’t need to use violence for that.”