Royal newlyweds called 'parasites' by Que. MNA
Quebec's Liberal government demands an apology
Quebec politician Amir Khadir is not pleased the royal newlyweds will be visiting Montreal and Quebec City during their upcoming 9-day Canadian tour.
Khadir, who is a member of Quebec's national assembly (MNA) and co-leader of Quebec Solidaire, referred to the royals as "parasites" in an interview with the Journal de Québec newspaper.
"What a waste of public money. All this to welcome those parasites," Khadir is quoted as saying in the article.
A portion of the trip's cost will be covered by Quebec taxpayers.
Khadir also told the newspaper that he doesn't mind laying out the red carpet for visitors with extraordinary ideas who have done remarkable things, but he finds it insulting to do so for those with royal blood.
Prince William and his wife Kate chose Canada for their first international tour as a married couple. The pair will kick off their Canadian visit in Ottawa, landing on June 30, before heading to Montreal and Quebec City on July 2 and 3.
Protests are already being organized by sovereignty group Réseau de résistance du Québécois (RRQ) to greet the royals in Quebec City.
"The Canadian people and the Quebecer people will pay for that [tour] and we strongly disagree with that," said RRQ spokesperson Julien Gaudreau.
Another group, Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste, is also planning peaceful demonstrations.
Khadir told the Journal de Québec he is not ruling out joining protesters on the streets.
In April, Quebec's International Relations Minister Monique Gagnon-Tremblay announced Quebec would pay a portion of the costs of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's visit, although the amount was yet to be determined.
When Prince Charles visited Montreal in 2009, it cost Quebec taxpayers $25,000.
ADQ leader Gérald Deltell was quick to denounce Khadir's comments Tuesday, saying the remarks are "a great dishonour for us."
Deltell said guests need to be treated with respect, regardless of any personal feelings about the role of the monarchy in Canada.
"You have to respect the tradition when you receive someone who is coming to your country," Deltell said.
The Quebec government demanded an apology from Khadir but he didn't appear to be backing down Tuesday.
According to Quebec's deputy premier, the comments from Khadir demonstrate "a lack of class."
"There are a large number of Quebecers who have a lot of respect for the royal family," said Nathalie Normandeau, a Liberal cabinet minister.
"(Khadir) should set an example. Going after that young couple the way he has, in such a coarse way, demonstrates a lack of class and a lack of respect towards Quebec citizens."
If there are protests, one key group not expected to associate itself with the protestors is the Parti Quebecois, the main pro-independence party.
Its members have had little to say about the visit and raised no objections to it.
The province's third-biggest party, the Action democratique du Quebec, also ridiculed Khadir's remarks.
ADQ Leader Gerard Deltell said Khadir's comments were "unworthy" of a party leader.
With files from The Canadian Press