Montreal councillor seeking re-election not apologizing over use of ‘rape’ word

Click to play video: 'Montreal councillor to refrain from saying ‘rape’ during debates'
Montreal councillor to refrain from saying ‘rape’ during debates
WATCH: Montreal city councillor Jeremy Searle says he will refrain from using the word “rape” in future council debates after receiving backlash. Global's Tim Sargeant reports – Oct 17, 2017

“You can rape a community. Obviously. Yes. (So, is that fair comment?) Of course, it’s a fair comment,” Jeremy Searle told Global News.

The incumbent Montreal city councillor (Loyola) is talking about a choice of words he used during a debate Monday night.

At the Seena Cultural Centre, Searle referred to the extension of Cavendish Boulevard as “raping the community.”

“It’s the term that is used for trashing something,” Searle told Global News Tuesday afternoon.

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Searle argues he used rape in context to explain that turning Cavendish into another Decarie-like expressway will be terrible for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (NDG) residents.

“Raping a community is a bad thing. It’s not a good thing,” he said.

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But that word created a firestorm online: One person writing on Facebook, that “as a survivor of sexual assault I found his comments offensive.”

“I think he is unfit for office,” Christian Arseneault, the Projet Montréal candidate (Loyola) told Global News. Arseneault says he couldn’t believe what Searle initially said.

“I was so shocked I wasn’t really sure I heard what he said but then he came back around a minute or two later and that was when I asked him to settle down because that is just beyond ridiculous,” he said.

Searle says some women have approached him and he now promises to stop using the rape word.

But he makes no apologies.

“I respect other people’s opinions so I will refrain from saying it but I have no apology for using it,” he said.

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