Radio-Canada employees hate conservative values, Harper says

Prime Minister Stephen Harper says "a lot" of Radio-Canada employees "hate" conservative values.

The prime minister told a private Quebec radio station most Quebecers aren't 'leftists'

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said last week that most Quebecers aren't "leftists". (Jacques Boissinot/Canadian Press)

Prime Minister Stephen Harper says "a lot" of Radio-Canada employees "hate" conservative values.

Harper says those values that are loathed by many employees of CBC's French-language network are the same ones that he says are supported by a large number of Quebecers.

Harper made the comments during a French-language interview with Quebec City radio station FM93 Québec, conducted last Friday and aired today.

The comments about Radio-Canada came in response to a question about how Harper plans to convince Quebecers to vote for his party in the upcoming federal election.

He says he doesn't believe that voters in Quebec are predominantly left-leaning.

Rather, he says, Quebecers approve of the measures taken by his government: lowering taxes, staying tough on crime and cracking down on the threat of terrorism.

"I remain convinced that Quebecers are not leftists, contrary to the image conveyed by some media or the opposition parties," Harper says in the interview.

"I understand that there are many at Radio-Canada who hate these values, but I think that these values are the true values of a large percentage of Quebecers."

The Conservatives hold just five seats in the province, compared to seven for the Liberals and 54 for the New Democrats.

It wouldn't be the first time the Conservatives have attacked Radio-Canada.

In February 2011, Jason Kenney accused the public broadcaster of "lying all the time" in response to a question from a journalist. 

More recently, Harper's spokesman Carl Vallée wrote that it was becoming "more and more difficult for (him) not to conclude that (his) worst suspicions about Radio-Canada held true."

Vallée was reacting to a documentary aired last year about the religious right in Canada which explored links between evangelical Christian groups and the Harper government.

Radio-Canada ombudsman Pierre Tourangeau concluded that standards governing the presentation of journalistic views were not correctly applied in the case of the documentary.