If Louise Harel is thinking about making a run for the Montreal mayoralty job this fall, she can forget about it now, after making some injudicious remarks about the city's minorities.
“If we go from 19 to 10 boroughs, but these boroughs remain quasi-municipalities as they are now, we will end up in the worst of situations because we’ll have cities … an Italian city, a Haitian city, an anglophone city, an Arab city - Ville St. Laurent, a Jewish city, etc. We will no longer have this sense of one big city with boroughs that speaks with one voice.”-Lousie Harel
I'm going to give her credit for not being a racist, because an experienced racist would probably be more tactful. But the statement, like it or not, comes off racist and even if she didn't mean it to be so, she's stuck with the result.
Had she chosen her words more carefully and said something along the lines that she would like to see the city develop in a way whereby members of all communities live together as one, rather than being ghettoized, nobody would have said a peep. It's a legitimate position that some may agree with and some may not.
Describing an 'Arab city,' 'Haitian city' or 'Jewish city' as something undesirable is bound to elicit a negative reaction. She should have known it.
When majorities talk about minorities, they have to be very careful. Context is everything.
A friend of mine once told me that he was insulted by a comment made by a politician as they shook hands upon being introduced.
What did the politician say?" I asked.And so unfortunately for Madame Harel, she is stigmatized. In certain minority communities, the racist label won't wash off and if she's foolish enough to run for mayor, she'll get trounced. She probably has the same chance of winning the mayor's job of Montreal as does Dave Ahenakew, of winning the top job in Cote-St.Luc.
"Ah, you Italians are wonderful cooks." he replied.
"Doesn't sound insulting to me. What was the matter?"
"I didn't like the term 'You Italians' " hmm...
Our beloved Mayor Tremblay is crossing his fingers, hoping that she'll run, so that he can remind the 50% of Montrealers who's mother tongue is other than French of her true 'racist nature.'
Yes, Louise, stick a fork in you, you're done.
Better get yourself a nice safe government job in Quebec city where these types of statements are not only tolerated but encouraged.
And to you Mr. Angry French Guy blogger, stop crying over spilt milk. Stop blaming Anglos and the Gazette for her problems. Of course the newspapers, particularly the English ones are having a field day with the story, but the truth is that this mortal wound is self-inflicted.