April 8, 2016 2:57 pm

Lack of diversity in city hall sparks important debate

As it stands, only six out of 208 councillors on the Island of Montreal are visible minorities, so what's going on? Longtime city councillor Marvin Rotrand says the issue is twofold.

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MONTREAL – A coalition is calling for more diversity within the walls of city hall.

As it stands, only six out of 208 councillors on the Island of Montreal are visible minorities, so what’s going on?

Longtime city councillor Marvin Rotrand says the issue is twofold.

He sat down with senior anchor Jamie Orchard this week to discuss the aspects of this systematic problem.

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“At the last election there were a lot more visible minority candidates, but most of them were named at the last moment to sort of ‘fill the slate’,” Rotrand said.

According to Rotrand, the first order of business is to encourage minorities to run for office and make sure that they feel welcome.

The second, is to get political parties in Montreal to make a commitment to recruit and support minority candidates.

Many argue that more diversity would make city council more efficient and more representative of all Montrealers and Rotrand agrees.

“There are qualified candidates out there – A lot of them,” he said.

Despite the qualifications, the issue could also stem from lack of support from the population.

“Minorities don’t feel represented, a lot of minorities don’t go out to vote, and because of that, paradoxically, they don’t get recruited to run.”

Watch the full interview on Focus Montreal this Sunday at 7:30 am, 11:30am, and midnight.

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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