A psychologist was fined $7,500 and suspended for “immoderate, disgraceful and inappropriate” remarks about columnist Patrick Lagacé and for “fomenting fear and uncertainty” about the pandemic in articles he signed with his professional title.

Vincent Mathieu was the subject of two complaints filed by the Order of Psychologists of Quebec for these articles published online between May 2020 and January 2022.

Before a disciplinary board, he pleaded guilty to two counts on March 31, for remarks made “towards government authorities and public health in a pandemic situation” and “on the psychological health of the journalist Patrick Lagacé,” reads the summary of the hearing.

“The current crisis we are experiencing is not a global health crisis, but a political crisis, a clear illustration of the failure of our governmental and media institutions. The members of these institutions have blood on their hands, because they have caused, through their incompetence, even their bad faith, the collapse of human systems, “wrote the psychologist in an article published on the Vigile Quebec site on May 8. 2020.

In another post published online, around January 8, 2022, Vincent Mathieu seemed to make a false diagnosis by asserting, about La Presse columnist Patrick Lagacé, that he would suffer from “a fragile tendency to fall into paranoid psychosis – and this, “without having evaluated it”, underlined the Order of Psychologists, thus committing an act “derogatory to the honor and dignity of his profession”.

Note that Vincent Mathieu always accompanied his signature with his professional title in these disputed writings where he compared, in particular, the health measures to the measures adopted by the Nazi regime in Germany.

Confronted with these writings by a syndic of the Order responsible for investigating the complaints received against him, he admitted in March 2022 that the “split between Vincent Mathieu the citizen and the psychologist was less clear than what [he ] had in mind”.

He also amended his writings on Patrick Lagacé by acknowledging that he had not been careful “about the interpretation that could have been made of his remarks”, which was rather “satirical”.

However, this remorse was not enough for the Order, which judged Vincent Mathieu’s actions as “objectively very serious” since, in particular, the latter “knew that he was going to be identified as a psychologist in his writings”.

“The public’s confidence in professionals working in the field of mental health has certainly been shaken by the respondent’s writings”, moreover judged the Disciplinary Council of the Order of Psychologists by imposing two fines totaling $7,500 which he will have to pay within a year.

He was also given a two-month ban.