Squirrels are pesky creatures.

And now Quebec is in the midst of a full-blown squirrel debate that has taken on some rather serious dimensions.

At the National Assembly, the wildlife critic for the CAQ wants Quebec to legalize squirrel hunting. He tabled two petitions with 1,500 signatures asking the government to allow people to hunt squirrels because Quebec allows hunting of lots of critters.

On the other side, the PQ tabled counter-petitions signed by 1,700 people pleading for squirrel safety.

Yes, folks, that's how your money is being spent in this complicated business of government.

But it all took a nasty turn when a commentator on TVA crossed a line.

Luc Lavoie knows his way around politics and staying on message. He was been around the block a few times, notably serving as an advisor and spokesman for Brian Mulroney.

On TVA this week, they were discussing the squirrel crisis and he said, “I would have like to have hunted separatists, but apparently that's not allowed."

Whoops. Big mistake. A very stupid joke in terrible taste.

In an instant, Luc Lavoie became a persona non grata in Quebec political circles.

He was immediately suspended by TVA and my guess is he won't be back. Even the SQ is investigating.

Yes, what he said wrong, particularly in a week so haunted by gun violence. But to order a summary execution and publicly hang him is not right. In this age of uber-political correctness, there is no room for error and apologies do not matter. One strike and you're out. There is no forgiveness and often no justice. 'I'm sorry' no longer counts.


A Quebec election looms

Well it's now less than a year to the provincial election. We vote on Oct. 1 next year.

This week the Liberals were creamed in a by-election in Quebec City.

The CAQ stole the riding of Louis-Hebert and served notice that the Liberals may be in for some stormy weather.

We will certainly see a cabinet shuffle soon as the premier tries to gussy up his lineup. Some familiar faces will be moved or replaced.

But the first order of business was for the premier to talk about rethinking public hearings on systemic racism in Quebec that are supposed to begin soon: hearings that many minority groups are saying are long overdue. They may go ahead but something tells me not in the way that was planned.

That's a pot the premier may not want to stir right now. The opposition says hearings are like putting Quebec on trial. I say what's wrong with that?

There is systemic racism in Quebec. We all know that – but just maybe not in an election year.