PQ leader gets an earful after joking about female opponent’s facial hair

The head of Quebec’s official opposition apologized Monday for making fun of a female politician’s conspicuous — and relatively famous — fuzzy upper lip.

Parti Quebecois Leader Jean-Francois Lisee told reporters he wasn’t trying to ridicule his gender non-conforming colleague in a radio interview broadcast Sunday night.

Rather, Lisee said he was comically affirming that Manon Masse wears her salt-and-pepper lip hair as a political statement.

Masse, elected in 2014 with the left-wing political party, Quebec solidaire, worked as a feminist and LGBTQ activist before entering politics.

She wears her facial hair proudly and has told interviewers on several occasions she refuses to adhere to society’s heteronormative standards about beauty or how women should dress and look.

Quebec solidaire is arguably the most progressive and left-leaning party that holds seats in Quebec legislature. And instead of having leaders, the political formation has one female and one male “spokesperson.”

During the Radio-Canada interview, Lisee was asked about his recent decision to appoint Veronique Hivon, a well-liked politician in Quebec, to be the PQ’s deputy leader.

The move was seen as an attempt by Lisee — who’s party is lagging in third-place in opinion polls and who’s leadership is being constantly questioned — to add a popular presence alongside him for the fall’s provincial election.

Hivon’s appointment was not inspired by QS’s model, he stated.

“I am the leader, and not a spokesman,” he said, referring to how QS calls the heads of their party. “Veronique is the deputy leader, not a spokesperson.

“Moreover, contrary to Manon, she doesn’t have a moustache.”

Social media lit up after his statement, and Lisee quickly took to Facebook to apologize.

He did so again on Monday, adding he tried in vain to contact Masse directly.

The bad vibes between the two parties are palpable.

Lisee had been trying to woo members of QS into a political union ahead of October’s election.

QS roundly rejected party’s advances during its convention last May.

The party’s male spokesperson, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, a well-known former student activist, said Monday he didn’t think Lisee’s joke was very funny.

Masse has not yet commented publicly on Lisee’s lippy comment.

Just Posted

Sunny weather improves farmers’ prospects

A harvester kicking up dust. It’s a picture that will bring a… Continue reading

Rural transit pilot project being considered

Penhold, Innisfail and Red Deer County councils to decide whether to go ahead with project

Red Deer fire station up for sale

Home sweet home at Fire Station 4

Most surveyed Innisfail residents give urban chickens the thumbs up

Town of Innisfail will discuss whether to allow backyard chickens on Monday

‘Mom I’m in trouble:’ Canadian, Brit face 10 years in jail for alleged graffiti

GRANDE PRAIRIE, Alta. — The mother of a Canadian who was arrested… Continue reading

Coyote on the prowl near Penhold

This coyote was out on the prowl in a field just west… Continue reading

Sky’s the limit as Calgary opens testing area for drones and new technologies

CALGARY — The sky’s the limit as the city of Calgary opens… Continue reading

Hi Mickey, ‘Bye Mickey: 6 Disney parks on 2 coasts in 1 day

ORLANDO, Fla. — Heather and Clark Ensminger breathed sighs of relief when… Continue reading

Court weighs ‘Apprentice’ hopeful’s suit versus Trump

NEW YORK — President Donald Trump’s lawyers hope to persuade an appeals… Continue reading

StarKist admits fixing tuna prices, faces $100 million fine

SAN FRANCISCO — StarKist Co. agreed to plead guilty to a felony… Continue reading

Annual pace of inflation slows to 2.2 per cent in September: Statistics Canada

OTTAWA — The annual pace of inflation slowed more than expected in… Continue reading

Jury finds Calgary couple guilty in 2013 death of toddler son

CALGARY — A jury has convicted a Calgary couple in the death… Continue reading

Most Read