Jacques Boissinot The Canadian Press François Legault expressed concern when questioned Friday to know if he still placed his confidence in Mr. Courteau.
François Legault questions his confidence in the commissioner of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (LHJMQ), Gilles Courteau, without however asking for his resignation as the opposition does.
Called to say at a press conference if he still trusted Mr. Courteau, the Prime Minister rather hinted on Friday that he had a “concern”.
The QMJHL boss is immersed in full storm currently due to allegations of sexual misconduct in his league. What's more, the opposition accuses him of having perjured himself in a parliamentary committee last week on this issue and is asking for his head.
However, Mr. Legault seems to be getting impatient, but also seems to want to give another chance to the commissioner who has been in office for 37 years and who is due to end his term in 2024.
“It is worrying that the contradictory declarations of Mr. .Courteau,” Mr. Legault said on the sidelines of an announcement at Notre-Dame-du-Portage on Friday morning about adapting to climate change.
He asked him in barely covered words to recognize the problem of violent initiations in his league and fix it.
“We will have to make sure that Mr. Courteau sees that there is a problem, among other things in the case of initiations, and takes strong measures to put an end to these ways of doing things.
He let it be known that he preferred to hear it first in a hearing before a parliamentary committee, rather than demanding his resignation like the Liberal Party and Quebec solidaire.
The prime minister still took the trouble to bring out another disagreement with the league boss. He recalled that his Minister responsible for Sport, Isabelle Charest, had had to face Gilles Courteau in his crusade to put an end to fights in hockey.
Thursday, Ms. Charest had expressed the wish that the parliamentary commission which had heard Mr. Courteau last week summons him again. However, the elected Caquistes had refused to stretch the mandate of the commission last week.
Mr. Courteau was accused of perjuring himself on the same issue in parliamentary committee last week. He said at the time that no case reported in his league was similar to those described in a judgment rendered by an Ontario court.
Stephen Quirk, the only QMJHL player involved in the request for he class action filed before Judge Paul Perrel, of the Superior Court of Ontario, reported having been the victim of degrading and scabrous treatment.
In the press scrum, Mr. Courteau indicated that he there was no sexual connotation in Stephen Quirk's testimony. Conversely, the player did say he had been sexually abused.