Montreal

Investigation into CEGEP professor who made homophobic remarks extended

The Cégep du Vieux Montréal investigation into a professor who posted on Facebook that he has "disgust for homosexuals" has been extended and so has his suspension because "new elements" have come to light.

'New elements' prompt extension into investigation, including complaint about alleged sexist remarks

Jean Laberge, a philosophy professor at the CEGEP du Vieux Montréal, has had his suspension prolonged while the school investigates homophobic remarks he made. (Charles Contant/CBC)

The Cégep du Vieux Montréal investigation into a professor who posted on Facebook that he has "disgust for homosexuals" has been extended and so has his suspension because "new elements" have come to light.

Jean Laberge, who teaches philosophy at the CEGEP, was suspended Jan. 30 because of homophobic remarks he made on social media. He will not be returning to work "for an undetermined amount of time," according to the school's spokesperson Guylaine Fortin.

Fortin couldn't say what the new information was, but Radio-Canada has learned at least one more complaint has been filed with the school's administration against Laberge.

The latest complaint was regarding sexist remarks Laberge allegedly made in one of his classes.

Investigation looking into Radio-Canada interview

The CEGEP's investigation is also taking into account an interview Laberge did with Radio-Canada last week. 

"I've always had an unease about homosexuality. But I haven't declared war against homosexuals," he said in the interview.

Jean Laberge, philosophy professor, Cégep du Vieux Montréal. (Facebook)

"I have the right to not prefer homosexuality and invite people to not choose that way."

Laberge is a professed Catholic and attributed his opinions to his faith. He also said that he doesn't discuss his opinions about homosexuality in his classes.

When reached by Radio-Canada, Laberge said he did not want to comment on the reasons for the prolonged suspension, but posted on his personal Facebook page the same day, saying, "I'm going to stop playing with fire on Facebook. I've burned myself. Adieu."

The Cégep du Vieux Montréal will be deciding whether to sanction the professor or not. Laberge says he has the right to freedom of expression.

With files from Radio-Canada's Thomas Gerbet and CBC's Jonathan Montpetit