Squirrel hunt debate

Political commentator's comments cause uproar
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 10/30/2017
Squirrel
A political commentator got into hot water recently when he suggested he’d rather hunt Quebec separatists than squirrels. Credit: Mircea Costina (Shutterstock)

QUEBEC — A political commentator got into hot water recently when he suggested he’d rather hunt Quebec separatists than squirrels. Luc Lavoie made the remark on the TVA television network while discussing petitions for and against squirrel hunting that were tabled in the provincial legislature, according to the Canadian Press: “We could take our guns like Americans, and shoot at squirrels... actually, I would have liked to be able to hunt the separatists, but it looks like it’s not possible.” He later apologized but the Parti Québécois wanted the TV network to sanction Lavoie after the comments caused an uproar on social media. Party leader Jean-Francois Lisée told reporters that TVA would have reacted more strongly if the comments been directed at Muslims, Jews or women. The network said Lavoie’s comments were unacceptable and suspended him for a few days.

Iron Man unmasked

SELANGOR, MALAYSIA — University lecturer Mohd Nazriq bin Noor Ahmad was praised recently after photos surfaced showing him wearing an Iron Man mask while teaching a class. The move was meant to spare students from getting nervous when he graded their papers, so they couldn’t see his facial expressions, according to the Huffington Post. Ahmad said it was “really easy” for his students to guess how they’d done based on his facial expressions. He’s an “awesome lecturer for considering our feelings,” said one student, who shared the photo on Twitter. But Ahmad had another reason for wearing the headgear — while undergoing treatment for a heart condition in 2014, he was forced to wear a blue light-emitting heart monitor on his chest, much like that worn by the superhero.

Getting down to it

ROUYN-NORANDA, QUE.  — A barber in Quebec was praised recently after he was photographed providing extra care to a customer. Francis “Franz” Jacob was shown lying on the floor beside a young boy, giving him a haircut. The reason? Six-year-old Wyatt Lafrenière has autism and he doesn’t usually sit still for haircuts, so Jacob bought a pair of wireless clippers to follow Wyatt around when he moved, according to the CBC. ‘’Usually, hairdressers sort of panicked when they saw Wyatt arrive, so it was really exceptional to meet Mr. Jacob,’’ said Wyatt’s mother Fauve Lafrenière, whose photo garnered more than 850,000 views on Imgur, an image-sharing platform. Jacob has several regular customers with autism, and tries to accommodate each of them, so parents often show up at the end of the day. “I lock the front door. It has to stay quiet,’’ said Jacob.

Not-so-subtle discount

HANGZHOU, CHINA — A restaurant in the Zheijiang province of China came under fire recently after offering discounts based on women’s breast sizes. The larger the size, the larger the discount, showed the ad for Shrimp Eatery, according to the BBC. General manager Lan Shenggang defended the sales strategy. “Once the promotion started, customer numbers rose by about 20 per cent,” he said, and “some of the girls we met were very proud — they had nothing to hide.” But following a public backlash, the poster was removed.

It’s not so funny

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Apparently unaware that women might know a little something about football, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton was fired by one of his sponsors recently after making a sexist remark, according to Reuters. Jourdan Rodrigue of the Charlotte Observer had asked the star athlete about pass routes at a press conference, and he answered: “It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes like — it’s funny.” But on Twitter, Rodrigue wrote: “I don’t think it’s ‘funny’ to be a female and talk about routes. I think it’s my job.” She also said she spoke to the star athlete later “and it was worse… I chose not to share because I have an actual job to do today and one he will not keep me from.” Sponsor Dannon said it was “shocked and disheartened at the behaviour and comments… which we perceive as sexist and disparaging to all women…  It is entirely inconsistent with our commitment to fostering equality and inclusion in every workplace. It’s simply not OK to belittle anyone based on gender.”

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