Parti Québécois leader slams radio host on homophobia

Friday, March 2, 2007

Sepratist Parti Québécois (PQ) leader André Boisclair commented on Louis Champagne, a Quebec radio host.

Champagne said the factory workers in Saguenay would never vote for a "tapette," a derogatory French slang word for homosexual.

Champagne was referring to a number of PQ candidates. In one interview with a candidate, Alexandre Cloutier, Champagne asks if it would be hard for people to vote for leader André Boisclair, who is homosexual. In another interview, Champagne talks of Sylvain Gaudreault, who is running in the riding of Jonquière. Gaudreault is homosexual. Champagne asks Cloutier, when talking about Gaudreault, if the PQ is a "fag club."

Supporters holding signs showing André Boisclair during the 2005 Parti Québécois leadership race.

"When you show up with a homosexual, aren't you going to be asked the question, 'Listen, the PQ, isn't that a party of fags?'" the popular morning show radio host said to the candidate.

"You try promoting a homosexual to the boys at Alcan. Just try," said the host talking of Gaudreault.

Boisclair, who is struggling to get the vote of many Quebecers, showed his feelings by commenting to reporters in Quebec City yesterday.

"Is he saying on the radio that people in Saguenay-Lac Saint-Jean are more homophobic than other people elsewhere in Quebec?" Boisclair said in response. "Homophobia exists, but I feel these words are insulting for the people of Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, and I have the support of millions of Quebecers behind me when I say so."

Meanwhile, Boisclair came to Quebec City as a campaign stop. He presented a new education system that could reduce the rate of high school dropouts. Boisclair also presented other ideas to University students.

A recent poll by Montreal based newspaper Le Devoir, on the 27 of February, shows the Parti Quebecois at 28% and the governing party Parti libéral du Québec at 37%. If the Parti Québécois were to win, they could try to separate the province of Quebec from the rest of Canada.