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Julie Boulet apologizes after giving the finger to Parti Quebecois member over question

Julie Boulet is seen on television monitor at the Charbonneau inquiry May 14, 2014 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

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Julie Boulet is seen on television monitor at the Charbonneau inquiry May 14, 2014 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

QUEBEC - Maybe Quebec Liberal backbencher Julie Boulet didn't get the memo.

Premier Philippe Couillard had been promising a more dignified tone in Quebec's national assembly, especially compared with the sometimes acrimonious debate that raged before the spring election was called.

On Monday, Boulet appeared to transgress the spirit of collegiality, raising her finger — yes, the middle one — after a question from Parti Quebecois member Stephane Bergeron.

Boulet was angry that Bergeron had asked her why she told Quebec's corruption probe last week she was unaware of a $100,000 annual fundraising target for Liberal ministers when she served under Jean Charest.

Some of her ex-cabinet colleagues said last week the target was well-known.

The former transport minister said she felt Bergeron's question was "vicious and hurtful."

She later apologized for the gesture, which was not captured on camera.

After her testimony before the Charbonneau Commission, Boulet took an impromptu vacation just as the legislature began sitting.

She returned to work on Monday.

Boulet has been a member of the legislature since 2001. She failed to make it into Couillard’s cabinet.

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