Charles Montpetit (Montreal) has told the Book and Periodical Council’s Freedom of Expression Committee that
On March 8 (Women’s Day) in the weekly Courrier du Sud, caricaturist Jean-Marc Phaneuf drew Quebec PM Philippe Couillard in a djellaba, about to throw a stone to former Liberal MNA Fatima Houda-Pepin while yelling “Happy birthday, Fatima” (thereby summarizing the ambivalent attitude of the government toward this prominent Morocco-born woman).
There may have been a financial motive:
The cartoon might have gone unnoticed if a La Presse reporter hadn’t asked the PM’s office to comment five days later, and if the office hadn’t phoned the Courrier’s owner (TC Transcontinental) to complain about this “poor-taste” depiction of a “murder.” Unwilling to antagonize the PM in the midst of a widespread protest against a proposed bill that would free municipalities from the obligation of buying ad space for their public notices, Transcontinental’s direction expressed its “agreement” with the goverment and pulled the caricature from the paper’s website, even though this action hadn’t been requested.
Here’s a link to the offending cartoon at the Montreal Gazette (for now).
Couillard was, of course, a “Je suis Charlie” poseur.
New French word daily: “stoning” = lapidation
Reality check: Just for once, the government has found a way to get the public interested in at least one type of art and, predictably, not by funding it. And just think how much better off we’ll all be when the government’s job includes policing this kind of thing for “Islamophobia.”
See also: Anti-Islamophobia legislation is just the beginning, of course.