MONTREAL -- In a profanity-punctuated response, Quebec Premier Francois Legault had some strong words for the leader of the Parti Quebecois, who targeted his family with false claims of COVID-19 violations.

"Not only my family," said Legault in a news conference Thursday. "I think all politicians have to be careful with families. It's so tough for our children when their fathers are hurt about some comments. Sh*t! Please don't get the children involved."

Legault was responding to PQ leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon's suggestion Wednesday that the premier was violating health protocols by snowboarding in his backyard with his sons.

Deputy Premier Genevieve Guilbault fired back saying Legault lives with his sons, so there is no breaking of the rules.

"I don't understand why Mr. Paul St-Pierre Plamondon is bringing my children into a dispute, indirectly trying to say that I didn't respect some rules," said Legault. "Which is untrue."

Plamondon later backtracked and withdrew his comments.

Legault also criticized Plamondon for suggesting the family hired a photographer to take the picture.

"This is planned," Plamondon said Wednesday. "You have several contracts that are given to publicists who are imagining ways of bringing the message of the government. That is very well prepared. We see it. We see that there's been thought given before any communication."

Legault scoffed at Plamondon's suggestion.

"Also, he lied when he said we gave some contracts to some companies to choose to take a picture about snowboarding," said Legault. "Come on, I spoke with my boy last night, (and) he said, 'Hey dad. We decided to do that. The two of us. That's it. That's all. What are these contracts about?"

Plamondon was not at the morning PQ news conference as MNAs Pascal Berube and Joel Arseneau took questions from reporters.