Gatineau mayor criticizes city councillor's statements on Islamophobia

GATINEAU, Que. - The mayor of Gatineau, Que., says he's requesting that a city councillor be stripped of some of her duties after she reportedly said the word "Islamophobia" doesn't exist for her.

Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin said in a statement late yesterday that he's distancing himself from Nathalie Lemieux and will ask city council to replace her as deputy mayor.

Lemieux told Le Droit newspaper that Islamophobia is a problem invented by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

According to the media outlet, she added, "when a group of people want to integrate, they integrate, and these people don't integrate."

Her comments came after Quebec Premier Francois Legault said Thursday that there is no Islamophobia in Quebec and closed the door on the idea of designating a national day to combat the problem.

Legault's office later clarified to say that while Islamophobia exists, there's not a culture nor a current of it in Quebec.