A local Saguenay radio host personally apologized Thursday after making “inappropriate comments” about Mayor Catherine Fournier, who revealed on Tuesday that she was the one who was sexually assaulted in 2017 by the former PQ player Harold LeBel.
“If I have a colleague who looks like Catherine Fournier, let’s have drinks together in my apartment all evening, and I invite her to come over to my sofa bed, to share my bed when there is another bedroom, then she says yes, I might try it. If she says no, we stop, but it may well be that I try, “said host Simon Tremblay on Tuesday, on the airwaves of the KYK station.
At one point in the exchange, he asks what Ms. Fournier was “doing” at Mr. LeBel’s residence at the time of the sexual assault. “Imagine the party. He, there, he has just separated with his wife, and his most beautiful colleague arrives in his bed when he has the face of a monkey’s ass, ”continued Mr. Tremblay. During the segment, he also said that he considers himself “a little more handsome than Harold LeBel, but not much more.”
By email, the Cogeco group explained Thursday that its employee had “made inappropriate comments last Tuesday in the Catherine Fournier file”.
“The host recognizes that he lacked hindsight and information when making his comments. For Cogeco Media, this type of comment has no place on the airwaves in 2023 and remains unacceptable,” said the group’s senior director of communications, Christine Dicaire.
She also maintains that “Simon Tremblay will apologize privately and publicly today.” For the rest, “the disciplinary measures taken will remain of internal management”, specifies however the spokesperson, without advancing further.
On Instagram, Thursday, Mayor Fournier did not fail to condemn the comments made on the air. “We still tolerate this kind of talk on our airwaves, in 2023? she wondered. His cabinet then confirmed to La Presse that Simon Tremblay had called the mayor to offer his apologies. Earlier, popular host Guy A. Lepage called on his Twitter followers to write to Cogeco Communications, calling it a “cellar comment.”
The publication ban that prohibited the media from broadcasting the name of Ms. Fournier, who was a PQ MP at the time, was lifted Tuesday morning. It was the main interested party who had herself requested that her identity be made public, saying she wanted to take a new step in her journey. A documentary about his journey through the justice system aired on Wednesday.
In an interview with La Presse, Ms. Fournier also denounced on Wednesday the lack of support and “solidarity” she received in the National Assembly in the wake of this affair.
“Nobody said anything, nobody really asked questions. I felt a great lack of solidarity towards me. […] As soon as I was elected mayor, he returned to Parliament without anyone expressing discomfort or anything, ”she explained, not without emotion.