MONTREAL – Jeremy Searle, an independent councillor for the Loyola district in NDG, has denied reports that he attended a council meeting while under the influence of alcohol.
Searle was escorted out of the hall of honour at city hall on Tuesday morning to the president’s office for a private meeting with council speaker Franz Benjamin.
After the meeting, Searle told reporters that he had been called to speak with Benjamin over his inappropriate remarks.
“The president of the council was suggesting I should be prudent in my remarks,” he said.
He said he was not facing expulsion from the city council and denied reports that he attended a council meeting while under the influence of alcohol.
When asked by reporters if he was drunk, Searle responded with a question: “Are you drunk?”
He also confirmed that he did not have a problem with alcohol.
Searle, an independent councillor for the Loyola district in NDG, outraged many when he compared the Quebec separatist movement to Emerald Ash Borer.
He exchanged words over the incident with Mayor Denis Coderre on Monday afternoon, after Coderre demanded Searle make a public apology during a council meeting.
Watch: Raw video of exchange between Searle and Coderre
Searle responded with an attack on the mayor’s French language abilities.
“I forgive Mr. Coderre for not understanding the French language, I was asking about the Decarie Tunnel,” he said in English, then adding, in French, “I will repeat because he has a head problem . . .”
He was then cut off by city council speaker Frantz Benjamin, giving the mayor a chance to respond.
“Mr. Searle, we are here in a room full of honourable people.” Coderre said.
“I have fought all my life against intolerance, and against insulting federalists or separatists in whichever way.”
The mayor then addressed what he considered to be Searle’s insulting manner.
“If you continue the insults, you have no place within these chambers. Will you apologize, yes or no, once and for all?”
After being told he would be removed from council if he did not, Searle eventually apologized.
- With a file from Tim Sargeant
© Shaw Media, 2014