'Choose your Quebec' campaign signs reinstalled in Montreal
Jackie Dunham, CTVNews.ca
Published Tuesday, May 23, 2017 8:27AM EDT
A controversial campaign poster put up by a candidate in the upcoming Montreal byelection has been reinstalled after some said it promotes racism.
The sign, which was hung outside the Jean-Talon and Beaubien Metro stations, shows two images of the same woman wearing a toque with a Quebec flag in one, and wearing a Muslim niqab in the other.
French-language text on the poster reads: “Choose your Quebec.” Underneath the photos of the woman, it says, “Canadian multiculturalism, no thanks!”
The posters belong to the Parti Indépendantiste’s candidate for Montreal’s Gouin riding, Alexandre Cormier-Denis, who is running against 12 others in the upcoming May 29 provincial byelection.
Cormier-Denis uploaded a video to YouTube on the weekend, in which he defended the signs he said had been removed by police.
In a tweet, Cormier-Denis wrote that the posters would be going back up “much to the displeasure of totalitarian multiculturalism.”
Montreal police said they allowed the campaign posters to be rehung because they belong to an official political party and don’t meet the criminal criteria for hate speech.
However, some residents in the neighbourhood disagree with the police’s determination and believe the signs are racist.
One woman told CTV Montreal on Monday that she’s enraged to see them back up in the area. She said it’s the wrong message to teach children in the community.
Another man said the posters “foster hate.” One resident of Egyptian descent called them “discouraging.”
Haroun Bouazzi, a community advocate, said he wasn’t surprised to see the posters hanging in the neighbourhood and described them as anti-Muslim.
“We know there are groups that are trying to organize and create political parties that are extreme right and specifically about the Muslim minorities,” he said.
Despite the backlash, the posters will remain visible during the byelection until residents in the Gouin riding will have their final say on the matter at the ballot box on May 29.
With a report from CTV Montreal’s Cindy Sherwin