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Quebec premier criticizes Montreal Gazette journalist’s coronavirus reporting again

Click to play video: 'Quebec on the defensive over how Anglophones have been treated during the covid19 crisis' Quebec on the defensive over how Anglophones have been treated during the covid19 crisis
WATCH: Premier Francois Legault says he is committed to serving anglohone quebecers in their native language. This as opposition MNA's grilled the premier over access to english health information should the province be hit with a second wave. As Global's Raquel Fletcher reports, the Premier was also asked to clarify some criticism he had about a reporter from the Montreal Gazette – Aug 20, 2020

Quebec Premier François Legault once again took aim at Montreal Gazette journalist Aaron Derfel on Thursday.

In a parliamentary committee, Legault accused the health reporter of being biased. He said Derfel’s articles were intended to systematically discredit his government.

Read more: Legault singles out English media for poll showing fear in anglophones

The comments, which mark the third time Legault has spoken about Derfel in the past three months during the COVID-19 health crisis, came as elected officials were studying budget spending dedicated to Quebec’s anglophone community.

The Montreal Gazette, for its part, tweeted Thursday a previous editor’s note from June standing by Derfel’s “hard-hitting, unflinching reporting.” The note includes an updated statement at the top, saying Legault “made further comments” on Aug. 20.

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Liberal MNA Gregory Kelley, who is the spokesperson for the official Opposition on relations with English-speaking Quebecers, called Legault’s remarks “unacceptable” and said his attitude was intimidating.

Kelley said Legault launched an attack on the freedom of the press and he questioned whether it was easier to attack an English-speaking journalist. In a phone interview, Kelley said it is not right to specifically “target a journalist.”

He went on to say that Legault’s repeated remarks about Derfel have been poorly received by parts of the English-speaking community.

With files from Global News’ Kalina Laframboise

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