A viral video depicting Quebec's very own 'Billy Karaoke' interrupting Premier François Legault's press conference has made waves on social media — but as it turns out, it's not real. At least, according to the government, it's not.
The video, published on Billy's Instagram on May 12, has garnered over 28,000 views. It shows him replacing the Quebec Sign Language (QSL) interpreter and singing karaoke — albeit muted — while someone tries to forcibly remove him.
"A great victory for the karaoke community! [...] An intoxicating karaoke performance that lasted about 09 seconds," he wrote on Instagram.
What do the press conference organizers say?
However, Antoine Tousignant, head of the public affairs team for the minister of the executive council, which organizes Legault's press conferences, told Narcity Québec the video was falsified.
"The person could not even get in because the press briefings at the National Assembly [...] are monitored. There are special constables, he could never have entered there," he said.
"There is nothing more monitored than the ASSNAT."
'Billy Karaoke' responds
Billy responded to Narcity Québec after being asked whether the video was fake.
"You suspect me of editing [a fake video]? Me? The living karaoke legend of the web after all I've done for the karaoke community?" he said.
"After going to fight the street gangs in the Bronx, after going to fight racism by attacking the KKK, after going to fight homophobia, after going to fight the bikers, you still don't have faith in the karaoke community?"
Billy assured Narcity Québec that there was nothing it could report that would tarnish his reputation.
"You can't do anything to tarnish the reputation of the King! I am an ideal and ideals are immortal," he said.
Melanie Ann Layer is a 33-year-old entrepreneur, founder and head of Alpha Femme, a luxury boutique coaching firm. Narcity Québec reports that in August, she made history in the Lower Laurentides with the purchase of a nearly $5 million mansion — a record sale for the Quebec subregion.
Layer spoke to Narcity Québec about her career journey, including a low point in which she had to sleep in her car.
How did Melanie Ann Layer start her career as a coach?
Layer described how, at age 25, she found herself without a job after breaking up with a boyfriend who had been a manager at the company she had been working for, Narcity writes. She relocated to Sherbrooke but initially failed to find success despite an aptitude for sales.
"I couldn't sell anymore. Everything I had always been able to do effortlessly, all of a sudden, there was nothing that worked at all," she said.
"I went from being the best salesperson in the whole company to not being able to sell a thing. Then my money started to [plummet]. I remember it was at a time with my family that it was really not going well. I was mad at everyone, I felt like everyone had contributed to the fact that it wasn't working out so well in my life."
She said she went broke as a result, eventually becoming unable to afford her accommodation.
"I'll never forget the first night I couldn't pay for my room in the motel I was staying at, and I had to sleep in my Civic," she told Narcity. "It was like the culmination of the worst time of my life."
How did Alpha Femme start?
Then a conversation with a friend put Layer on the coaching track.
"I have a friend who randomly called me to talk to me. She was struggling and what I had started to do for myself, I kind of introduced her to that." Others soon reached out for advice as well, Narcity writes.
Layer went on to start a scrappy coaching firm, charging $100 an hour. "I started my business and my name was 'the invisible coach.' It was really just word of mouth, that was the only way to find me."
In 2017, she took her business to social media. It exploded.
"I started a Facebook group and an Instagram page. Instead of being a life coach who was making maybe $100,000 to $200,000 a year, all of a sudden it started to grow. And what I was teaching was very cutting edge, the way I talk, the way I see things. It got a lot of attention."
Fast forward to 2021, and Alpha Femme is having its "best year ever," Layer told Narcity.
"What's special is that it started in 2017, and we made a million, before taxes, before all that. The other year we did $2.5 million, the other year we did $8.5 million and now we're up to $14 million in revenue."
What is Layer's advice for success?
But despite the success, insecurity can still haunt Layer. She said she has to remind herself that she deserves her success.
"What's hard is to have a drastic life change in the middle of your life and really be okay with it and say you deserve to be here."
"I didn't have a normal trajectory. I'm 33 years old, and I've lived and created a lot in those 33 years. It's trying to ground myself in the right to live this life right now and have what I have, to feel deeply that it's right and that I deserve it. That, I think, is the hardest part."
Her advice to those who will listen: "Don't listen to anyone. Don't listen to anyone if you know inside you that it's right."
Narcity reports that Layer plans to move into her $5 million home in April 2022.
While there's a myriad of possible reasons as to why Trudeau is ahead in the province, his handling of the pandemic could be the biggest. Among the Quebecers polled, 46% believed that health care is the most pressing issue in the upcoming election and 53% said the current prime minister "has performed well on pandemic management."
Politics and the Fourth Wave: As concern over COVID rises, are the Liberals poised to benefit?… https://t.co/znhujEMXZU
"We, the undersigned, demand that the Government of Quebec publicly reject, as of now, the idea of a mandatory vaccination passport and that it commit itself to do like the Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, has done, that is to say, prohibit the obligation to present a vaccination passport in order to attend certain events and practice certain activities," the petition states.
Samson, a former Coalition Avenir Québec member who switched sides in June, held a press conference about the petition alongside Conservative Party of Quebec leader Eric Duhaime on August 12. They explained that the party had already collected 133,000 signatures on a previous petition that did not meet the criteria of the National Assembly.
"We reviewed the wording [...] So we're going to ask these hundreds of thousands of people to re-sign their petition on the National Assembly website, and we're going to invite Quebecers who don't agree with the vaccine passport to come forward as well," Samson said.
The petition, which was posted to the National Assembly website on August 12, had garnered more than 75,000 signatures at the time this article was published.