Quebec City shock jock André Arthur fired, again

The management at Quebec City's BLVD 102.1 announced Monday that it had fired controversial radio host André Arthur, effective immediately. Last week, Arthur referred on air to a street near an LGBT bar as "AIDS Boulevard."

Controversial radio host makes no apologies for calling street near LGBT bar 'AIDS Boulevard'

Veteran Quebec City radio host André Arthur was dismissed, effective immediately, Monday, following comments he made on air last week about a street near an LGBT bar. (Radio-Canada)

Management of Quebec City's BLVD 102.1 FM announced Monday that it had fired controversial radio host André Arthur, effective immediately. 

The decision was made public on Twitter Monday afternoon. The company said it would be making no further comment.

Arthur's co-host, Marc-André Lord, will be hosting the noon-hour show on his own until further notice.

Arthur unapologetic

Arthur's latest firing comes a few days after he referred on air to the street near an LGBT bar in Quebec City as "AIDS Boulevard."

Arthur told Radio-Canada he had no regrets about his choice of words.

"I've been using that expression for 20 years," he said.

"Remember that when the AIDS crisis came to Quebec City, in the gay district, people were dying without even being able to go to hospital, because Quebec hospitals were refusing to treat them."

He said he'd found a way to normalize what no one wanted to talk about at that time.

Citizen threatens legal action

But not everyone agreed with Arthur's take on that expression.

Guy Chicoine, a Quebec City resident, sent Arthur's employer a legal letter of formal notice last Friday, demanding that Arthur and his co-host be fired.

"It's sending us back 40 years," he said of Arthur's comments. "They are inappropriate comments, homophobic comments, and they have no place in 2018." 

Chicoine and his citizens group have called for Arthur and the radio station's owners, Groupe Leclerc Communication, to issue a formal apology.

History of controversy

It's far from the first time since beginning his career with CHRC in Quebec City in the 1970s that the 74-year-old broadcaster has found himself in hot water over his on-air remarks.

Arthur also made waves as an independent Member of Parliament, representing Portneuf-Jacques-Cartier in Parliament from 2006 until 2011.

In April 2016, eight months after coming out of retirement to return to the airwaves, he announced he was retiring again after being let go by CHOI Radio X over "a number of factors."

"It's not the first time I've lost a radio job, but it's the last time," Arthur said at that time. However, five months later, he was back on the air with BLVD 102.1 FM.

"I gave them the listener ratings they needed, and they treated me well," Arthur said Monday after his dismissal. He said management was under a lot of pressure to fire him, "and I respect that."

Based on a report by Radio-Canada's Carl Marchand