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Montreal byelection campaign poster promotes racism: critics

Click to play video: 'Campaign poster for Gouin by-election stirs controversy' Campaign poster for Gouin by-election stirs controversy
WATCH ABOVE: A campaign sign in the Montreal riding of Gouin is turning heads and stirring up controversy. The poster promotes one of the candidates in the May 29 byelection to replace Françoise David. But as Gloria Henriquez reports, some say it also promotes racism. – May 20, 2017

A campaign sign in the Montreal riding of Gouin is turning heads and stirring up controversy as some say it promotes racism.

It was located right outside the exit of Beaubien metro station and promotes Alexandre Cormier-Denis, one of the candidates in the May 29 byelection to replace Francoise David.

WATCH BELOW: Quebec Charter of Values

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The poster depicts two women, one with a toque and another one with a niqab and asks people to “choose their Quebec.”

At the bottom it reads, “Canadian multiculturalism, no thanks!”

READ MORE: Québec Solidaire Leader Françoise David announces she’s quitting politics

Cormier-Denis, who is running for the Parti Indépendantiste, told Global News that he meant for the ad to remove hindrances to the debate over multiculturalism.

“We think the debate over Canadian multiculturalism in Quebec is far from over,” Cormier-Denis said.

Police received several complaints soon after the poster went up on Thursday.

Officers asked the city to take it down while they looked into it.

“It proves there is a democratic problem in Quebec and that we’re incapable of stepping out of the politically correct discourse,” Cormier-Denis said.

The candidate said the ad helped his party brand itself as the “sovereigntist, independentist and patriot option.”

WATCH BELOW: Alexandre Cormier-Denis’ campaign video speaking about Quebec’s Liberal Party and anglophones. 

His critics, including one of the candidates running against him in the race, don’t agree with his methods.

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“That’s like an ad saying: well O.K. you vote for me and you can be racist. I don’t like that,” Jean-Patrick Berthiaume, the candidate for Bloc Pot said.

He believes Gouin’s multicultural voters won’t buy into it.

READ MORE: New Quebec cardinal condemns charter of values for its divisiveness

And people who spoke to Global News agreed.

“It makes me feel uncomfortable just thinking about it,” Benjamin Molina-Ramirez said.

“For me it’s bull**** because if I want to use a burka what’s the problem?” Larissa Perdiz said.

Cormier-Denis argued that he’s in tune with his voters.

There is nothing in Quebec’s electoral law that regulates the content of a campaign ad.

As far as the law is concerned, anything goes as long as it has the candidate’s stamp of approval.

READ MORE: PQ leader speaks at Dawson College, shares views on charter of values

Police determined that the ad is not breaking any laws. That means it can be displayed.

“I don’t think police will give it back to us, but we will put others up,” Cormier-Denis said.

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