The political class at the National Assembly has condemned the "violent" and "hateful" remarks that columnist Gilles Proulx allegedly made about Québec solidaire (QS) MNAs during Richard Martineau's show on Qub radio in recent weeks.

QS co-spokesperson Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois demanded Thursday a public apology and a full retraction from Proulx, Martineau and Qub radio.

He also announced that no QS MNA will participate in the radio station's programs until an apology has been heard, adding that the party is evaluating possible legal remedies.

In a written statement, Nadeau-Dubois said he was aware of comments made by Proulx on March 10 on Quebecor's web radio station.

"The Québec solidaire MNAs are called "bastards" and "filth" by the columnist, in addition to being called "gangrene" and "liars," said Nadeau-Dubois.

In another column on Martineau, on March 21, the QS leader continued, "Mr. Proulx goes even further. After having spoken at length about me, he exclaims: 'we should finish them off once and for all, these thick people.'"

If it is healthy and normal in a democracy to criticize elected officials, Mr. Proulx's comments go too far, said Nadeau-Dubois.

"We are dealing with violent, hateful and degrading comments towards elected officials of the Quebec National Assembly, on the airwaves of a major media. The host never intervened to correct them. We can't tolerate that and Qub radio should not have tolerated that," he said.

"We are human beings, we have families. There are limits", he concluded, also mentioning that the comments of the columnist "are not only dangerous for the social climate, they also endanger the safety of elected officials" of his party.

The Qub radio contributor defended himself from having made violent or hateful comments. In a statement shared on Twitter late Thursday, Proulx claims to have been quoted out of context by Nadeau-Dubois.

"I was not talking about him or his party when I said that, 'the English are right, we should finish them off once and for all, those thick people.' I was being ironic about us, the Quebecers, who despite all the hypocrisies of some politicians, continue to elect them," he said.

Proulx added: "As for the terms I used to describe you and your campaign in Saint-Henri-Sainte-Anne when you distributed flyers in English while calling yourself an independentist, I consider that in a free and democratic society I can still call a party liars and hypocrites when I consider it is one."

Several elected officials in Quebec City defended the QS parliamentary leader, including Premier François Legault.

"I strongly condemn the comments of Gilles Proulx on the members of Québec solidaire. This hatred has no place. Everyone deserves respect," the CAQ leader said in a tweet.

The interim leader of the Quebec Liberal Party, Marc Tanguay, also expressed his support for the QS MNAs.

"These comments are totally condemnable and have no place in Quebec," he said on Twitter.

Other elected officials also denounced the comments on the social network, such as Liberal MNA Marwah Rizqy, who said she has "rarely seen the Quebec Solidaire co-spokesperson so shaken" and "for good reason!" she wrote on Twitter.

"This incitement to violence is totally unacceptable."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on March 23, 2023.