Arrest of journalist Antoine Trépanier: two SPVG police officers will be suspended
The two Gatineau police officers are accused of having violated two articles of the Quebec Police Code of Ethics. (File photo)
Two police officers from the Service de police de la Ville de Gatineau (SPVG) are suspended for several days for having arrested journalist Antoine Trépanier, in 2018, while the latter was in the performance of his duties.
The chairman of the Police Ethics Committee, administrative judge Benoit McMahon, has delivered his verdict. In a decision rendered on Monday, his committee imposed a 10-day suspension on Sergeant Mathieu La Salle Boudria and a 12-day suspension on Lieutenant Paul Lafontaine.
The two Gatineau police officers are accused of having violated two articles of the Quebec Police Code of Ethics.
Last December, the Police Ethics Committee accused Sergeant La Salle Boudria for having “botched” his investigation and for not having taken any steps to properly understand the context, among other things. As for Lieutenant Lafontaine, he was accused of having approved the arrest of the journalist.
At the time of the events, Antoine Trépanier, who was then working for Radio-Canada Ottawa-Gatineau, was investigating the general manager of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Outaouais (BBBS), Yvonne Dubé.
As he was preparing to broadcast an unflattering report about him, we recalled in the Committee's decision dated December 6, 2022, he requested an interview with Ms. Dubé to offer to give her point of view to the occasion of the publication of this investigation.
Ms. Dubé then filed a complaint against Mr. Trépanier for harassment.
The journalist was arrested the same evening by Gatineau police, then released after signing a promise to appear with conditions, including that of not communicating with Ms. Dubé.
Two days later, Mr. Trépanier published his report in which he revealed that Ms. Dubé had practiced law for several months without being a member of the Bar of Ontario before being hired by the BBBSO and that she never informed the committee responsible for analyzing her candidacy.
The SPVG had forwarded the file to the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions. A few days after Mr. Trépanier's arrest, however, he had concluded that after a review of the investigation report produced by the Gatineau police, no criminal act had been committed by the journalist. Therefore, no criminal charges were laid against Mr. Trépanier. The SPVG, for its part, had admitted having made a mistake.