“I never thought in my head that what I was doing was wrong,” said real estate broker Mathieu Arseneault, star of the show Numéros 1 à CASA, on the second day of the hearings of the Self-Regulatory Organization of Quebec real estate brokerage (OACIQ). During his testimony, Mathieu Arseneault cried several times and recounted all the good deeds he has done over the past 14 years to help the community.

“It’s destroying me on one side of the coin,” said a tearful Mathieu Arseneault during questioning by OACIQ lawyer, Me Isabelle Martel. He was referring to the negative comments and ridicule he received in the media without having had the opportunity to give his version.

“What we are currently seeing is Mathieu Arseneault giving money to children to have subscribers. That’s pretty much what it shows, he explained.

He was involved even before being on social networks, he said, notably for the Gala Méritas every week for six years and for Leucan. “And 90 percent of that doesn’t appear anywhere,” he said.

Mathieu Arseneault repeated several times during the day that he wanted to inspire and not have as many subscribers as possible. He cited an example of what inspired him.

“One thing that also inspired me in the past is the Montreal Canadiens club. Every year, the players go to Sainte-Justine hospital to give to the children, well, it’s filmed, it’s the Canadian logo. »

His former agency RE/MAX and his colleagues never told him that his videos were detrimental to the profession. On the contrary, they only said positive things, he said, later affirming that the OACIQ had not given him any warning either. He only knew that the video in which he bought 100 hamburgers for homeless people was problematic the day he was summoned to the OACIQ.

This video also inspired brokers in Montreal, who distributed coffee and donuts to homeless people, he said.

The OACIQ lawyer asked him if he had seen the parody made by comedian Julien Lacroix.

“There is one thing, Mr. President, that when a video goes viral, because videos in Quebec, 3 million views is quite rare. Since Julien Lacroix, you look at his account, he is still a comedian who is still very present on social networks, a lot of subscribers. For him to repeat a video that is already viral, it is almost certain that by doing anything with this video, it is a sure shot,” declared the broker, then specifying that the comedian was ridiculing him free.

In the afternoon, Mathieu Arseneault answered questions from his lawyer, Mr. Martin Courville, still with a tight throat and tears in his eyes, justifying his emotional state by the bad press he is experiencing and the fear of losing his license.

The broker recounted one of the times he came to the aid of a sick child, without putting on a show. It was in 2017, following a cry for help from the mother on TVA. Mathieu Arseneault had not seen it, but people contacted him directly, he explained, to provide support. The broker worked on the project for several weeks so that the child could attend a Montreal Canadiens hockey game. He claims to still have contact with the child in 2023.

Mathieu Arseneault has also cited several proofs indicating that he inspires others. He has read numerous messages he has received from people from all walks of life who ask him for advice, congratulate him for his excellence, the positive energy he exudes, his generosity and his humility. “You are a role model,” he read. “I watch you go and it gives me the courage to continue,” he was quoted as saying.

He said “a ton of projects” weren’t put on social media and that his helicopter went out several times to help, particularly to find missing people.

At the end of the day, Mathieu Arseneault admitted that he had only read the rules on social networks last weekend.

In the morning, the OACIQ union member, Brigitte Poirier, was called upon to give her overall vision of the situation by presenting the facts.

“He uses this social problem to practically make it entertainment, it becomes staged, with sad music, and there is a moving side, and these are the facts that we observed,” she explained. Now, the consequence of that is that now it’s out of social media. »

According to the OACIQ investigation, Mathieu Arseneault committed actions that “undermine the honor and dignity of the profession,” his charge. The committee must decide whether his license should be urgently suspended until hearings into his guilt, which will take place in 2024.

The pleadings of the OACIQ lawyer, Me Isabelle Martel, and the broker’s lawyer, Me Martin Courville, will take place on Friday in Brossard. Following the decision on the request for interim suspension, a date will be determined for the disciplinary hearings.