Québec —The spokesperson for employers in the residential construction sector was subject to a barrage of homophobic insults and hateful comments following the release of a video about an impending strike in the industry.
François-William Simard, the vice president of the Association des professionnels de la construction et de l’habitation du Québec (APCHQ), was personally attacked based on his sexual orientation after he expressed his organization’s position on the matter in a video posted to Facebook.
In a Facebook status published Friday, he reported the situation and gave some examples of the hundreds of insults he received, which we cannot repeat here.
Many of the comments were erased, but a screenshot was saved to prove the hostility of the comments.
In an interview with La Presse Canadienne on Friday afternoon, Simard said he was “able to take” comments and was open to debates, but that he refuses personal attacks.
“I am gay, I have no shame in being gay,” Simard said. “When I do my work, I do it in a professional manner, my sexual orientation has nothing to do with that, but if people will use my sexual orientation to attack my work, then I have a huge problem with that.”
In a press release obtained by La Presse Canadienne before its release, the APCHQ said it was preoccupied and outraged by the “hateful and homophobic remarks” aimed at its spokesperson.
The organization stated “that derogatory comments towards Mr. Simard were made … primarily by unionized construction workers. His sexual orientation was at the centre of some of the comments.”
APCHQ president Luc Boulanger called on trade unions to “call their members to order since we sense a certain unrest and tension.”