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Controversial 'Choose your Quebec' sign re-installed near métro station

The Gazette logo The Gazette 22/05/2017 Montreal Gazette
Police took down the sign depicting two women, one wearing a blue tuque and another wearing the Muslim niqab, but it has been re-installed. Police took down the sign depicting two women, one wearing a blue tuque and another wearing the Muslim niqab, but it has been re-installed.

After removing a controversial political sign outside Beaubien métro Friday, police have allowed it to be re-installed.

The sign depicts two women — one wearing a blue tuque and another wearing the Muslim niqab — and invites voters to “Choose your Quebec.” Police took it down after receiving several complaints Thursday that the sign targeted Muslims and bordered on hate speech.

However after investigating the matter, police determined that it does not meet the criminal definition of hate speech. A spokesperson for the Montreal police said that while the sign may be in poor taste, it also belongs to a political party recognized by the province’s electoral officer.

The controversial poster belongs to the Parti indépendantiste, whose candidate Alexandre Cormier-Denis is one of 13 people running in a May 29 provincial by-election in the Gouin riding.

The sign reads: “Chose your Quebec. Canadian multiculturalism: No thank you!”

One of the candidate’s supporters tweeted Thursday about an “altercation with anglophones” while the sign was being installed and blamed the controversy on the “ultra left.”

“The sign was taken down by a police mistake. But it will soon reappear, to the displeasure of the totalitarian (multiculturalists),” Cormier-Denis tweeted Friday. Addressing the controversy, the candidate posted that 79 per cent of Quebecers are against government employees wearing Muslim head coverings. 

Cormier-Denis is a supporter of the French Front National, a party whose far-right policies target immigrants and Muslims. In fact, the sign outside Beaubien métro was cribbed from a similar poster by the Front National.

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