(Mont-Royal) “What needs to stop, these are the people who say : “You’re not a good jew if you don’t vote for the right party,””, launched the liberal candidate Anthony Housefather for the closure of the first debate among the candidates for the riding of Mont-Royal. Fate of Israel, agreement on the iranian nuclear issue : the conservative candidate Robert Libman has fired a ball of red on the positions of the liberal Party.
The people wearing the kippah could be counted by the hundreds in the room filled to the brim of a synagogue of Côte-des-Neiges last night where they had come to hear the candidates from the three main parties to debate the economy, of language and of Israel. It is in the electoral district where the election was very tight in 2011 that Stephen Harper had launched his campaign a month ago, in the hope of conquering the stronghold liberal long held by liberal Irwin Cutler.
In turn, the candidates of the liberal Party and the conservative Party, who were all wearing the kippah, crossed the iron on the question of israel. “I am proud to be a Jew. My company has offices in Israel, I went there often. I’m going to fight for Israel !”, launched Anthony Housefather, the liberal candidate and current mayor of Côte-Saint-Luc.
Without taking it to his opponent, the liberal, the conservative candidate has focused its attacks on the leader-Justin Trudeau, whose “moral compass varies with the wind”. “Israel is certainly become an important issue of this election, there is no doubt. But to say that the liberal Party’s position on Israel is the same as that of the conservative Party of Stephen Harper is really pulled by the hair”, he said.
The conservative candidate has questioned the more nuanced approach advocated by Justin Trudeau on the subject of canadian foreign policy. “What is what “nuance” means? Does this mean that Canada should drop its support for Israel? Is it that this is what Justin Trudeau wants to?”, he started the applause. “The support of the liberal Party in the place of Israel is unequivocal. There was no hesitation,” repeated his vis-à-vis liberal.
Robert Libman has been warmly applauded by the crowd when he passionately criticized the agreement on the nuclear Iran, “a country that wants to destroy Israel”. In front of the relentless attacks on its leader, the liberal candidate has even felt compelled to clarify that the liberal Party “does not support[did] not the regime in Iran”. “Iran is the greatest threat to the world, I’m going to do everything to prevent Iran from acquiring the nuclear bomb,” he said, also applauded by a good part of the more than 500 voters.
The candidate of the New democratic party (NDP) Mario Jacinto Rimbao, a prominent member of the large filipino community of the district is, however, the heckling, mentioning the position néodémocrate on the agreement, iran.
The situation of the English language in Quebec has also gobbled up a part of the discussions. “It is so important for us to respect both official languages of Canada”, said Mr. French Rimbao, emphasizing the importance of “respect” for the two languages. Anthony Housefather, who had fought against the removal of the bilingual status of municipalities in 2013, has strongly criticized the position of the NDP to extend bill 101 to organizations and businesses under federal jurisdiction in Quebec. “Our young people are under-represented in the federal institutions in Quebec, they form less than 4% of federal public servants. […]If they make it English only and that we, the English, become of second-class people in the federal public services in Quebec, what will be the result?”, he said.