Si­mard stands tall af­ter Mul­roney’s barb

The Glengarry News - - The Opinion Page - -- Richard Ma­honey

Glen­garry-Prescott-Rus­sell MPP Amanda Si­mard be­came a cause célèbre again this week af­ter for­mer Prime Min­is­ter Brian Mul­roney re­ferred to her as a “lit­tle girl.”

Ms. Si­mard, hailed as a de­fender of franco-On­tar­ian rights, re­ceived wide­spread sup­port af­ter Mr. Mul­roney re­ferred to her as a “petite fille” when he ap­peared Sun­day night on Ra­dio Canada’s “Tout le monde en parle.”

He was de­fend­ing his daugh­ter, Car­o­line Mul­roney, who is On­tario’s at­tor­ney gen­eral and fran­co­phone af­fairs min­is­ter.

“She is the best voice that On­tario fran­co­phones could ever have, be­lieve me,” Mr. Mul­roney said. “The lit­tle girl who re­signed, she has left. That’s over. But Car­o­line is still there to de­fend the in­ter­ests of On­tario fran­co­phones.”

He later apol­o­gized. “I had no in­ten­tion of in­sult­ing any­one with this poor choice of words and would like to of­fer my sin­cere apolo­gies,” he said in a state­ment.

On so­cial me­dia, Ms. Si­mard replied: “He has done great things for Canada, but his com­ments be­long to an­other era and have no place in a re­spect­ful and egal­i­tar­ian so­ci­ety.”

She later com­mented that the con­tro­versy ac­tu­ally had a pos­i­tive as­pect, mak­ing ref­er­ence to the many peo­ple who had “over­whelm­ingly” de­nounced Mr. Mul­roney’s com­ments. The pub­lic re­sponse is “en­cour­ag­ing for women in pol­i­tics,” she said.

Ms. Si­mard had been Car­o­line Mul­roney’s par­lia­men­tary sec­re­tary be­fore she left the Con­ser­va­tive cau­cus to sit as an in­de­pen­dent in protest against cuts to French-lan­guage ser­vices.

FUNDS: (From left) Casselman Mayor Daniel Lafleur, Rus­sell Mayor Pierre Ler­oux, Ru­ral Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Ber­nadette Jor­dan, The Na­tion Mayor François St-Amour, MP Fran­cis Drouin, In­no­va­tion, Sci­ence and Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Naveep Bains, Clarence-Rock­land Mayor Guy Des­jardins, and Prescott-Rus­sell War­den and East Hawkes­bury Mayor Robert Kirby.

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