1704372411 Gaetan Girouard Shockwave For us the documentary was very useful

Gaétan Girouard: Shockwave: “For us the documentary was very useful” – Natalie Préfontaine, widow of the journalist – Le Journal de Montréal

Jean-Philippe Dion looks back on the journey of journalist Gaétan Girouard, a man who broke down doors on the show I to expose the villains or the injustices. Nothing seemed to stop him, as we see in the touching documentary Gaétan Girouard: Shockwavewhich airs January 11th on TVA.

When he committed the irretrievable on January 14, 1999, all of Quebec was deeply moved. Gaétan Girouard was present in people's daily lives through his work at TVA. The big guy was co-hosting JE en direct with his girlfriend Jocelyne Cazin and had just covered the election campaign in the fall of 1998. We learned that he had already been through difficult episodes regarding his mental health and his lack of self-confidence, despite what he said is also mentioned.

Gaetan Girouard Shockwave For us the documentary was very useful

Gaétan Girouard's widow, Natalie Préfontaine, surrounded by her daughters Justine and Marie-Claude, during the press screening of the documentary “Gaétan Girouard: onde de choc” last December. Photo agency QMI, JOEL LEMAY

Exhausted, emaciated and under constant pressure, particularly due to lawsuits worth tens of millions of dollars, Gaétan Girouard, as we learn in the documentary, suffered from severe depression, a state of distress of which no one was aware. , including his wife, Natalie Préfontaine. Only his doctor knew.

“I agreed to participate in the documentary so that Gaétan will be remembered and also for my daughters, because they were still young when this painful event occurred. Also for the grandchildren,” said his widow and spoke of “a new family therapy” in an interview with the QMI Agency.

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Jocelyne Cazin and Gaétan Girouard pose in the newsroom of the Journal de Québec, August 13, 1994. KARL TREMBLAY / LE JOURNAL DE QUÉBEC

“That our daughters can speak openly and without shame about their father, about what happened, that they can also see all the memories.” For us the documentary was very useful and if it can be useful for the public, all the better.” , added Ms Préfontaine.

Raising awareness

25 years after the disappearance of Gaétan Girouard, Jean-Philippe Dion looks at the journey of the man who was only 33 years old at the time of his death. Since he suffered from his mother's mental health problems in his childhood, the presenter and producer knows that the topic is sensitive. Especially when it comes to suicide and we definitely don't want to glorify this gesture and create a ripple effect. There was also a before and after from Gaétan Girouard regarding the journalistic treatment of suicides.

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The presenter and producer Jean-Philippe Dion, Justine Girouard, Natalie Préfontaine, Marie-Claude Girouard and the director of the documentary “Gaétan Girouard: onde de choc”, Maude Sabbagh. Photo agency QMI, JOEL LEMAY

Jean-Philippe Dion does his job with respect and kindness in the documentary seen by the QMI agency. Its mission is to raise awareness among Quebecers about issues affecting mental health and existing resources, the former being in the hands of each of us.

“One possible solution that Jocelyne Cazin mentions in the documentary is to learn to listen to each other and talk to each other, to communicate with each other when we see that someone is not well. We have a collective duty to share information,” said the presenter and producer.

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The journalist Gaétan Girouard conducts an interview. SCREENSHOT / QMI AGENCY

“The further we progressed in the documentary, the more we understood the nuances we needed to have and the subtlety of the approach. Yes, we first understand that Gaétan Girouard was a beloved man at the peak of his career, then we understand the reasons why he committed the irreparable and we propose possible solutions, which was very important for me. The Legault government will have to respond as there are clearly professional confidentiality issues surrounding mental health. “This will be my workhorse for the coming years,” emphasized Jean-Philippe Dion, recalling that there is help for those who need it, especially on the number 1 866 APPELLE.

Gaétan Girouard and Natalie Préfontaine's daughters, Justine and Marie-Claude, aged 8 and 6 respectively at the time of their father's death, take part in the documentary directed by Maude Sabbagh, as do their sister Christine and his best friend, Gilles Dion, with whom he began his radio career, in Granby.

“I really see the documentary as a gift. We wanted there to be a goal and reflection because the topic is still relevant today,” said Marie-Claude Girouard.

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The co-hosts of “JE”, Jocelyne Cazin and Gaétan Girouard, May 24, 1997. PHOTO CLAUDE RIVEST / LE JOURNAL DE MONTREAL

Since Gaétan Girouard was a star journalist at TVA, his former colleagues Pierre Bruneau, Jocelyne Cazin, Alain Gravel and Jean-Pierre Jodoin also share the pain they felt when they learned of his death.

Current JE host Félix Séguin is also interviewed, as is clinical psychologist Marc-André Dufour, who answered calls at Quebec City's Suicide Prevention Center on the same day that Gaétan Girouard died in the same city.

It is very moving to hear all these statements and to see Gaétan Girouard in action again on JE during the Oka crisis in 1990, during the Montreal Canadiens' parade to their last Stanley Cup victory in 1993 and on the news broadcasts to open his daily report.

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Gaétan Girouard on site during the Oka crisis in 1990. SCREENSHOT / QMI AGENCE

The documentary Gaétan Girouard: onde de choc, produced by Productions Déferlantes in collaboration with Quebecor Content, will air on TVA and on TVA+ on Thursday, January 11 at 9 p.m. It will then be offered to LCN viewers on Friday, January 19th at 8 p.m.


Jocelyne Cazin – former journalist and co-host of Gaétan Girouard at I

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Journalist Jocelyne Cazin, a friend and colleague of Gaétan Girouard, testifies in the documentary. Among other things, she talks about professional secrecy in connection with psychological problems. SCREENSHOT / QMI AGENCY

“From the documentary I remember words like achievement, perfectionism, insecurity, the way others look… All this when you are a sensitive being and find it difficult to live the way Gaétan could have […] Gaétan did not express his feelings like many men. There are many messages that need to be conveyed, including talking to each other. I said it in the documentary: If we had talked to each other, we definitely wouldn’t be here.”

Pierre Bruneau – former TVA presenter and friend of Gaétan Girouard

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Former TVA presenter Pierre Bruneau knew Gaétan Girouard well. We can hear in the documentary a touching excerpt from the message he delivered at his funeral in 1999. Photo Agence QMI, JOEL LEMAY

“It really shocks me to see this documentary because it is a whole episode of my life. I was the one who announced his death on TV and talked about perfectionism at his funeral. He says: “There is no such thing as perfection, Gaétan. You strive for it, it is the sign of greatness, but at the same time it is also a fragility.”

Marc-André Dufour, clinical psychologist

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Clinical psychologist Marc-André Dufour shares his expertise in the touching documentary. SCREENSHOT / QMI AGENCY

“It’s important to talk about the impact of suicide […] If I want to prevent suicides, it's also to prevent grief after suicides. Honors are important, but there's something behind them, and that's what this documentary does, talk about the impact. There are more than 1,000 suicides each year in Quebec. So imagine how many people are affected by this.”

Alain Gravel – journalist and former colleague of Gaétan Girouard

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Alain Gravel worked with Gaétan Girouard at TVA before making the jump to Radio-Canada, where he currently hosts the show “Les faits d'abord” on ICI Première. Photo agency QMI, JOEL LEMAY

“There was always a competition between Gaétan and me as to who would open the bulletin. It was a friendly rivalry as I got along very well with him […] I recognize myself in his story because when I did Enquête, the pressure was also strong. We also had threats and it was rock 'n' roll with lots of prosecutions. I was never afraid of people, but I was afraid of making mistakes, like Gaétan was afraid. That fear of working like an idiot ends up becoming compulsive.”

Félix Séguin – journalist from the Bureau of Investigation and current presenter of I

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Bureau of Investigation journalist Félix Séguin, who also hosts “JE” on TVA. Photo agency QMI, JOEL LEMAY

“I guess [aujourd’hui] that I receive incredible support from my employers. It has changed a lot […]»

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