Partisan attacks | QS demands an apology from the CAQ and does not rule out suing for defamation

(Quebec) Québec solidaire (QS) demands a formal apology from a member of Prime Minister François Legault’s close guard and does not rule out suing him for defamation.

In a message entitled “Online attacks by François Legault’s team: enough is enough”, of which The Canadian Press obtained a copy, the parliamentary leader of QS, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, accuses the CAQ of having tarnished the reputation of the MP Vincent Marissal.

“Since the outbreak of the CAQ political financing scandals, my colleague Vincent Marissal (…) has been targeted by increasingly aggressive attacks from the government,” he wrote.

Last Friday, Mr. Marissal recounted in an open letter that Mr. Legault had passed him in a corridor of the National Assembly and called him a “national mud thrower”.

The Prime Minister’s press secretary, Ewan Sauves, added in the media that Mr. Marissal ran for politics “on a lie”, referring to the fact that he had denied having flirted with the Liberal Party of Canada .

Employees of the CAQ’s political offices continued the offensive on social networks all weekend, with one high-ranking officer even accusing Mr. Marissal of having “cut corners” when he was a journalist.

“The author of this tweet, Manuel Dionne, (…) is the Prime Minister’s director of media relations. This kind of maneuver has a name. It’s smearing,” Mr. Nadeau-Dubois was indignant.

“It is not only an attack on the integrity and professional reputation of Vincent, (…) it is also an indirect threat towards all opposition deputies: be careful (…) otherwise, we will tell you make someone pay.

“Manuel Dionne must formally withdraw his comments and apologize to Vincent. It’s the bare minimum. We are evaluating what happens next and nothing is excluded at this stage,” added the supportive leader.

Mr. Dionne had not yet responded to questions from The Canadian Press on Monday evening.

“Aggressive partisanship”

Earlier Monday, PQ leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon denounced the “aggressive partisanship” of the CAQ. “It comes from an unhealthy political will. This is not good for the climate,” he declared at a press briefing in Montreal.


Paul St-Pierre Plamondon (center)

“It’s part of the political game,” replied Mr. Sauves, Monday afternoon, in a message sent to The Canadian Press. Cabinet employees (…) are engaged citizens. This is also democracy.

“Now we realize that this is not the tone we want to give to the discussions. The goal is to set the record straight. We advocate a respectful tone,” he added.

Last Thursday, the Minister of Transport, Geneviève Guilbault, addressed PQ MP Pascal Bérubé in a corridor of parliament, in front of the cameras, to remind him that he had also participated in a fundraising cocktail when he was Minister of Tourism .


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