Montreal borough councillor sorry for 'Islamization' remarks after exam by doctor in hijab
CTVNews.ca Staff, with a report from CTV Montreal's Amanda Kline
Published Monday, March 25, 2019 10:02AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, March 25, 2019 1:45PM EDT
A Montreal borough councillor has apologized after coming under fire for comments about what she called the “Islamization” of Canada.
Anjou's Lynne Shand made the remarks on her Facebook page after an emergency eye exam in which she was treated by a woman in a hijab.
“Who was the optomologist? A veiled woman,” she wrote in French. “If it wasn’t an emergency I would have refused to be treated by her.”
Shand denied accusations of Islamophobia, adding that the instance was not a question of competence, since the physician was, in fact, “excellent.” She told CTV Montreal that she is simply “anti-religious” and that religious symbols of any kind should not be worn by public employees. Shand has since removed the post from her Facebook page.
If she had a choice, she wouldn’t be treated by a woman in a hijab again, she added. “I’m being (a) baby here, seriously. It’s not right, probably, the way I think. But this is how I feel,” she said.
Montreal mayor Valerie Plante responded on Twitter in French, calling Montreal an “open, inclusive and diversified city.”
“The comments of the Anjou councillor are absolutely inappropriate and unworthy of an elected member,” she wrote in French.
“The elected have a duty to rise above the fray and to show restraint in such a sensitive debate.”
City councillor and mayor of the Anjou borough, Luis Miranda, said Monday that the area council strongly disagreed with Shand’s comments, but his office wouldn’t address a question about whether Shand would stay on in her role.