Joke about missing Quebec girl falls flat
A popular Quebec comedian says he's received death threats after he used the name of a missing Quebec girl in his punch line at a Just For Laughs show.
Mike Ward referred to Cédrika Provencher at a Montreal show in late June.
The 10-year-old Trois-Rivières girl went missing in July 2007 when she disappeared while looking for a missing dog.
Ward started his joke by poking fun at Revenue Quebec, the province's tax collection agency.
In French he said "you owe them eight dollars and they kidnap your children … and they're the ones that have little Cédrika."
In a profanity-laced video posted on his website, Ward claims he's since been shunned by his neighbours, and has received death threats.
Francophone media outlets have since criticized Ward's joke as being in poor taste.
Ward's online biography describe his style as "ignoring the limits of censure," and says he's not scared to tackle delicate subjects, whether it is disabilities, death or World Vision.
Cédrika's grandfather Henri Provencher said he doesn't appreciate the humour and called it a bad joke – but he doesn't believe Ward was deliberately targeting the girl.
"I think Mr. Ward didn't have bad intention," he said, adding the joke could work if the comedian changed the girl's name.
With files from the Canadian Press