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.
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.
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 LaframboiseView link »