Women’s group denounces Coalition Montréal
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.”