Dominique Ollivier sues Quebecor media over journalistic information

The former chairwoman of the city’s executive committee is seeking $1.6 million for reports she says contain “several factual errors and omissions.”

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Dominique Ollivier, former president of Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante’s executive committee, has sued the Quebec media.

It seeks compensation of $1.6 million from two of the company’s news agencies, TVA and QMI, for reports containing “several factual errors and omissions.”

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Your claim includes about $600,000 in lost wages, $500,000 in moral damages and $500,000 in exemplary damages.

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A series of articles published in the fall by the Quebec media Journal de Montréal and TVA criticized the travel and meal expenses incurred by the management of the Montreal Public Consultation Office. Ollivier was president of the organization from 2014 to 2021.

Reports found he spent $17,793 on restaurant bills between 2016 and 2019, including a much-discussed $347 oyster dinner for two at a Parisian restaurant.

As a result of the controversy over the reports, Ollivier resigned from her position as executive committee chair, two years after becoming the first Black person appointed to the position. However, she remained as a councilor for Rosemont—La Petite–Patrie.

“This is going to sound arrogant (but I’m staying) because… I know I didn’t do anything wrong,” Booth told the Gazette’s Corner, in an interview recorded in November, adding that he has no regrets about his actions. . They were criticizing me “for doing what? Did you have an oyster for dinner eight years ago at another job? What have I returned?

In a statement on Friday, Ollivier said: “I believe in investigative journalism and fully recognize the right of journalists to investigate and ask questions about issues of public interest. That said, journalists also have the duty to honestly inform the public, without misleading public opinion using amalgamations or truncated facts.”

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Ollivier went on to say that despite their collaboration, “journalists relied on information that was distorted or presented out of context and sometimes false. “They omitted important information that was available to them and that could have better informed some of their conclusions.”

“They voluntarily maintained confusion about the facts and temporality, using unproven insinuations and resorting to clumsy comparisons for sensationalist purposes, as well as practices that contravene the code of ethics of their profession,” he said.

Ollivier says he filed a complaint in this regard with the Conseil de Presse du Québec on December 3, which the organization acknowledged receipt on December 14, but explained that the delay for such files is between six and 15 months. Ollivier noted that is too long to wait, as the law allows a limit of three months after publication to preserve the plaintiff’s rights in court in such cases.

The way other publications collected, shared and analyzed the articles had a huge effect on her, Ollivier said, due to “false, truncated or amalgamated information that did not allow the public or decision-makers to form a clear picture.” idea of ​​the situation.”

“In a world where misinformation and manipulation of public opinion are rampant, we have to be able to rely on rigorous media that the public can trust. That is why I took this opportunity to invite the courts to examine my case and weigh in on this important issue,” Ollivier concluded.

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