Montreal councillor removed from caucus after anti-Muslim comments - InfoNews

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Montreal councillor removed from caucus after anti-Muslim comments

March 27, 2019 - 1:00 PM

MONTREAL - A Montreal borough councillor who caused a furor when she stated publicly how upset she was to be treated by a doctor wearing a Muslim headscarf was kicked out of her party's caucus Wednesday.

Lynne Shand will sit as an independent councillor for Anjou, borough Mayor Luis Miranda said in an interview. Miranda's decision was a reversal from two days earlier when he told CBC Shand would remain in his party despite her anti-Muslim comments.

Over the weekend Shand wrote on Facebook that she would have refused to be treated by the Muslim doctor if it wasn't an emergency.

"I had to have an emergency eye exam and who was the ophthalmologist? A woman with a hijab .... I am enraged because our country is being Islamized," she wrote. The councillor responded to comments on her post by stating that Muslims want to convert the planet to Islam through "massive immigration" and "high birth rates."

She said she is "far from being racist."

Miranda issued a news release Monday distancing himself from her comments but told CBC the same day she would remain in his party. "I don't consider that something (for which) I should tell her to leave," Miranda said.

On Wednesday, following strong denunciations of Shand's comments by Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante, citizens and other municipal politicians, Miranda announced she would no longer be a member of his caucus.

On Tuesday, Montreal city council Speaker Cathy Wong said she had officially complained about Shand's comments to the provincial municipal commission.

"Remember that the privilege of being elected also comes with important public responsibilities," Wong wrote on Facebook. "When a politician expresses hate speech about a Muslim woman, she attacks not only women and Muslim communities, but all Montrealers who are working to get along better."

Miranda rejected the suggestion he had changed his mind about Shand. He said Wednesday morning was the first opportunity his borough council had to meet and discuss her future in the party.

"I don't share her opinions, and not a single member of my team shares her comments," he said. As evidence, Miranda cited the fact he hired a Muslim to a senior position within the borough and had helped a local Muslim group find a location for their community centre.

"My director, who I chose myself, is Muslim. He's Muslim! It's clear we don't share those comments," he said.

"There are people who want me to get on my knees and apologize," he added. "I won't apologize for anything. I didn't do anything."

News from © The Canadian Press, 2019
The Canadian Press

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