A Disgraceful Week for Quebec Journalism

October 4, 2011

This past weekend Quebec’s Quebecor Media, through the Journal de Montreal and its TVA and LCN networks, devoted much coverage to a by-law in Montreal’s predominantly Jewish neighbourhood of Hampstead which had amended a by-law to prohibit noisy construction work and lawn mowing during Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year. Not satisfied with criticising the by-law or the politicians responsible for this by-law, the ‘debate’ quickly devolved into an attack on the entire Jewish community of Montreal. 98.5’s popular radio host Benoit Dutrizac exhorted his listeners to go to Hampstead and purposefully disrupt the holidays. Soon enough, anti-Semitic comments were posted on forums, with comments such “Was Adolph right?” and one suggesting the Olympic Stadium should be turned into a concentration camp .  David Ouellette, of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairpointed out in his blog that TVA has a policy of banning hurtful and defamatory comments. Yet as of today, the comments were still posted. As Graeme Hamilton suggested in his piece in the National Post, it seems the Quebec media, which  was strongly criticized  in the Bouchard-Taylor Commission on the reasonable accommodation debate in 2008, has not mended its ways.


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