Women’s group de­nounces Coali­tion Mon­tréal

Montreal Gazette - - CITY -

Femmes du monde à Côte-des-Neiges, a women’s group, is lash­ing out at Coali­tion Mon­tréal and its leader, Marvin Ro­trand, over the anti-fem­i­nist com­ments of one of the party’s can­di­dates.

Be­fore she be­came a can­di­date in the Notre-Dame de-Grâce district, Caro­line Or­chard posted sev­eral com­ments de­rid­ing “ex­trem­ist women” and ridi­cul­ing fem­i­nists who talk of a “cul­ture of rape.”

In a state­ment Thurs­day, Femmes du monde says “it’s un­ac­cept­able that the only fe­male Coali­tion Mon­tréal can­di­date in the (C.D.N.N.D.G.) bor­ough could make state­ments that triv­i­al­ize rape and refers to fem­i­nism as a ‘men­tal ill­ness.’”

Femmes du monde de­scribes it­self as a women’s cen­tre “that pro­motes the in­te­gra­tion of all women in the com­mu­nity and en­cour­ages cit­i­zen par­tic­i­pa­tion.”

The group also said it was also “un­ac­cept­able that Mr. Ro­trand could jus­tify the can­di­date’s words by say­ing that (Or­chard) is from the ‘work­ing class.’ … We are deeply sad­dened by Mr. Ro­trand’s com­ments, which show a real con­tempt for all the ded­i­cated peo­ple who work with the en­tire pop­u­la­tion of the bor­ough,” the group said.

“All of this also sug­gests that Mr. Ro­trand as­sesses the qual­ity of peo­ple ac­cord­ing to their so­cial ori­gin.”

Reached by the Mon­treal Gazette on Tues­day, Or­chard would not com­ment on the con­tro­versy, say­ing only: “The past is the past and my past opin­ions (have) noth­ing to do with the job I am ap­ply­ing for,” she said.

Asked for com­ment on Tues­day, Ro­trand, who is seek­ing re-elec­tion as coun­cil­lor in Snow­don district, re­sponded via a state­ment.

In the state­ment, Ro­trand said Or­chard “re­grets any re­marks she may have made in haste or in anger that may be seen as of­fen­sive or poorly ex­pressed.”

He added that Or­chard is “a per­son of work­ing class back­ground who is run­ning a grass­roots door-to-door cam­paign against a pro­fes­sional politi­cian. Her non­con­ven­tional, pop­ulist style ap­peals to many and her cam­paign, which is her first en­try into pol­i­tics, is hav­ing no­table suc­cess. We at Coali­tion Mon­tréal have seen an evo­lu­tion in her ex­pres­sion and will stand by her de­spite her rough edges.”

Marvin Ro­trand

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