Controversial Gatineau city councillor questions whether the Earth is round

MONTREAL -- A Quebec municipal councillor who was already under fire for denying the existence of Islamophobia is drawing new scrutiny for recent comments questioning whether the Earth is round.

Nathalie Lemieux of Gatineau, Que. created a controversy last week after she told a reporter the word ``Islamophobia'' doesn't exist for her.

She was stripped of her title as deputy mayor but will be staying on as councillor of Quebec's fourth largest city.

Le Droit newspaper reports that in an online comment two weeks ago, Lemieux suggested there is a conspiracy to eliminate evidence that the Earth is flat. She asked who decided the Earth was round and why should that be believed.

An aide confirmed Tuesday that Lemieux made the comments.

The councillor first entered the spotlight last week when she told Le Droit that Islamophobia is a problem invented by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

She applauded Quebec Premier Francois Legault for his statement that there is no Islamophobia in Quebec. After Muslim groups denounced Legault's comments, the premier's office clarified to say Islamophobia exists but there is no culture or current of it in Quebec.