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:
Attachee de presse, cabinet du maire et du comite executif (514) 794-1245
Renseignements : Marvin Rotrand (514) 774-1073