Remark about Algerians in Quebec: premier won't condemn - InfoNews

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Remark about Algerians in Quebec: premier won't condemn

Remark about Algerians in Quebec: premier won't condemn
August 16, 2012 - 5:53 PM

MONTREAL - The premier of Quebec is refusing to condemn anti-immigrant remarks made against one of his opponents.

Liberal Leader Jean Charest, campaigning for re-election, was asked twice at a news conference today about comments made against a Parti Quebecois candidate with Algerian roots.

When he skirted the topic the first time, another reporter asked Charest why he had avoided criticizing the remarks.

Charest replied that he is not campaigning against Jean Tremblay, the mayor of Saguenay.

He said the candidates in the Sept. 4 election are himself, PQ Leader Pauline Marois and the Coalition party's Francois Legault.

Those other leaders have strongly condemned the remarks from Tremblay — who in several media interviews joked that he couldn't pronounce the name of Djemila Benhabib and said he didn't like "these people" from Algeria coming here to impose their rules.

The spat stems from a debate during the election, which has seen the PQ use national identity as a wedge issue. The PQ has proposed a Charter of Secularism and the mayor, who is fighting to keep prayers at council meetings, is unhappy with parts of the plan.

Other Liberal candidates also avoided criticizing Tremblay.

The party has traditionally counted on huge support from minorities in the province. While that support does not appear to have dropped in recent polls, the party is struggling amongst the francophone electorate across the province.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2012
The Canadian Press

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