Jean-François Lisée won't apologize for comments that sparked threats against Alexandre Cloutier

Parti Québécois leadership candidate Jean-François Lisée is offering no apologies for the hostile tone of the race, despite directly contributing to it.

PQ leadership hopeful linked rival to controversial Muslim leader Adil Charkaoui in social media posts

Jean-François Lisée said he won't apologize for comments he made linking his main rival for the Parti Québécois leadership, Alexandre Cloutier, to a controversial Muslim leader. (Jacques Boissinot/Canadian Press)

Jean-François Lisée is offering no apologies for the hostile tone of the Parti Québécois leadership race, despite directly contributing to it.

On Friday, Lisée cited a Facebook post from the Collectif québécois contre l'islamophobie, an anti-Islamophobia group headed by controversial Muslim leader Adil Charkaoui, as proof that Cloutier had Charkaoui's support.

Cloutier says that comment triggered a barrage of hateful messages and called for an apology. His campaign is now being monitored by police.

Speaking after a debate in Saguenay on Sunday, Lisée said the race's "decibel level" was too high, but didn't apologize.

"I am not asking for apologies and I am not offering any. I am turning the page," he said.

Cloutier said he would've preferred an apology, although he said he was ready to let the matter go. But he later said he was still in shock over Lisée's attacks.

Cloutier has said being linked to Charkaoui was "the harshest and most ill-founded attack" he's experienced in his 10-year political career.

Sylvain Gaudreault, the party's interim leader, issued a call for calm Friday ahead of the new National Assembly session, which begins Tuesday.