A Montreal-area weekly newspaper has removed an editorial cartoon from its website depicting Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard stoning a former Muslim colleague.

Couillard says he found the cartoon in poor taste but told reporters today his office didn't ask for it to be removed when it contacted Le Courrier du Sud's owners last Friday.

The work shows Couillard dressed in religious garb lobbing stones at Fatima Houda-Pepin to mark International Women's Day last week.

Houda-Pepin is a former Liberal who was ejected from caucus in 2014 after feuding with Couillard and the party over what she felt was a weak stance on identity issues.

The cartoon was published in print and digital formats last week but was removed from the weekly newspaper's website Monday.

Jean-Marc Phaneuf, the longtime cartoonist behind the work, says he sees nothing controversial about the cartoon and is critical of the premier's interference in the matter.

For his part, Couillard said Monday he believes in freedom of expression but cautioned that exercising good judgment is part and parcel of it.

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