03/14/2015 12:27 EDT | Updated 05/14/2015 05:59 EDT

Saguenay Mayor Jean Tremblay in hot water over latest faux pas

An online petition demanding the resignation of Saguenay's controversial mayor has collected hundreds of signatures in only a few days.

The petition comes after Jean Tremblaycalled for action against Greenpeace earlier this week.

His appearance on a local radio show Friday is also getting attention, after he used a pejorative expression to describe workers in his region.

"Y'a des gens quitravaillent fort, quitravaillentcommedesnègres,” Tremblay said, before quickly apologizing for using the term "nègres" to describe the hardworking people of his region.

He then went on to explain he used the term because black people are hard workers who earn low wages.

This is far from being Tremblay's first controversial statement.

François Saint-Gelais, news editor of the local paper Le Quotidien, said Tremblay has never retracted a comment since he took office in 1997.

But Saint-Gelais said the latest comment could merit an apology.

The online petition, launched March 10, says Tremblay should step down because he consistently makes "outrageous" remarks that embarrass residents.

It has now collected close to 600 signatures.

A similar Facebook page called "Liberate Saguenay from Jean Tremblay" has more than 2,200 followers.