Quebec City pulls advertising at radio station because of 'their choice to promote opposition to health measures'
QUEBEC CITY -- The City of Quebec will no longer invest a penny in advertising on the airwaves of the station CHOI Radio X, and reports say major advertisers including Hydro-Québec, Desjardins and Uniprix are also pulling their spots on the radio station.
In a news release published on Monday, the city denounced the behaviour of the owners of the radio station, which "constitutes a danger to the public health and the well-being of the citizens of Quebec."
The city government of Regis Labeaume accused CHOI of promoting opposition to the health measures put in place to counter the spread of COVID-19.
Local newspaper Le Soleil also reported that Hydro-Québec, Desjardins, Uniprix, Industrielle Alliance, Groupe Paquet et Pizza Royale would also stop advertising on the station.
Quebec City moved to "red zone" Monday, putting the region into a lockdown for 28 days.
"By their choice to promote opposition to health measures, the owners of this radio station endanger the health and potentially the lives of the citizens of Quebec and elsewhere," wrote Quebec City spokesperson David O'Brien. "Under the guise of the idea of freedom of opinion, this organization is promoting ideas opposing health measures."
Quebec Solidaire (QS) MNA Sol Zanetti welcomed Quebec City's decision.
“This is a very responsible decision on the part of Regis Labeaume," Zanetti said. "Taxpayer dollars should never fund businesses that obstruct public health, let alone in times of a pandemic. Now it’s the Quebec government’s turn to follow suit and remove all its commercials from CHOI Radio X, as long as the station refuses to broadcast public health messages. I also encourage any business or organization to do so.”
O'Brien said two Quebec City advertising campaigns were underway on CHOI Radio X totalling $9,000 in ad spending.
-- this report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 28, 2020.
-- with reporting from CTV News Montreal.