Council Session on Yom Kippur - Anie Samson and Vision Montreal must apologize to the Jewish community

MONTREAL, Sept. 23, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - Montréal City Council Majority Leader Marvin Rotrand demanded that Mayor Anie Samson of Villeray-Saint-Michel-Parc-Extension formally apologize to Montréal's Jewish Community for suggesting that the City Administration is seeking to impose a Jewish holiday on all city councillors.

"Anie Samson's suggestions are absurd and offensive to the entire Jewish community. Ms. Samson must apologize publicly. The fact is, Montréal's different mayors and administrations have, for the past three decades, always respected the holidays of the major religions throughout Montréal. Just as it would be unthinkable to hold a City Council meeting on December 25 or during Ramadan, we do not meet during the Jewish High Holy Day of Yom Kippur, which starts at sundown on Tuesday, September 25," Mr. Rotrand noted.

"In any event, the Council never meets on Wednesdays, because elected officials complete their tasks around 6:00 p.m. on Tuesdays, with the option of working into the evening if necessary. Not meeting on Yom Kippur changes nothing for the city and Council meetings must be accessible to all the public," Mr. Rotrand added.

Mr. Rotrand also referred to Montréal's unanimous adoption in 2005 of its Charter of Rights and Responsibilities, in which the city promised to respect religious and other diversity. "As an institution, the city promotes open-mindedness, tolerance and respect for others," he said.

Mr. Rotrand pointed out that this is not the first time Ms. Samson has triggered controversy. In 2010, Québec's Inuit population and all communities of Canada's Far North were deeply insulted by Ms. Samson's comments during discussions on creating an Inuit cultural centre in Villeray's former Chinese Hospital. At the time, Anie Samson publicly stated, "When you bring 125 people to new and unfamiliar urban surroundings, you can expect them to party. You can be sure something will happen. Claiming there will be no misbehaviour is a lie. We already have our hands fill with many social problems.

"Ms. Samson previously insulted the Inuit community and is again sowing the seeds of discontent with her unbelievable allegations. Montréal's Jewish community will certainly take Ms. Samson's latest outburst as an attack. I can't understand why she constantly seeks to launch negative divisive debates. I am counting on Vision Montréal's leader, Louise Harel, to rein in Ms. Samson," Mr. Rotrand concluded.

SOURCE: VILLE DE MONTREAL - CABINET DU MAIRE ET DU COMITE EXECUTIF

For further information:

Source :
Martine Painchaud,
Attachee de presse, cabinet du maire et du comite executif (514) 794-1245

Renseignements : Marvin Rotrand (514) 774-1073

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