The publication on Facebook by Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon of questions posed to him by a journalist amounts to intimidation, according to the Professional Federation of Journalists of Quebec (FPJQ), which calls for the immediate withdrawal of the message and an apology .
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The Minister of Economy, Innovation and Energy posted online Thursday evening a capture of an email sent by Francis Halin, of the “Journal de Montréal”, who questioned him about a personal donation of 5 M $ at HEC Montreal. He asked him in particular “why not having waited until after his mandate as minister to announce it”.
Mr. Fitzgibbon then justified sharing the questions on Facebook by indicating that they “represent the type of questions that we receive too often from journalists of this stature. Too often, Quebecers do not see the aggressiveness and bad faith of these questions on a daily basis, often asked by the same press group.
A message that he then relayed on Twitter and which was shared by the press officers of the Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ) and the Minister of Education Bernard Drainville.
“The role of journalists is to ask questions. Even if Mr. Fitzgibbon does not like people to look at his actions, as a minister with a background in ethics, it is quite normal for journalists to search the files and justifies legitimate questions. The role of the journalist and the media will then be to determine whether the public interest justifies a report on the subject, ”said FPJQ vice-president Éric-Pierre Champagne in a press release on Friday.
“Personally targeting a journalist on social networks is problematic coming from a minister, and above all, it should not be prohibited by his colleagues and political attachés of his party,” he added.
The FPJQ notably demanded that a public apology be offered to the journalist in question and that the publication be removed from social networks.