October 21, 2017 9:55 am

Montreal city councillor defends 4 a.m. phone call to constituent

Montreal city councillor Jeremy Searle is defending his early morning phone call to a constituent, Friday, October 20, 2017.

Global News

Montreal municipal elections are nearing and city councillor Jeremy Searle is courting controversy.

Searle made an early morning phone call to a constituent at 4 a.m.

Andrew Bernstein was the voter who received the call.

He says it happened after he sent an email to Searle to inquire about issues in the district and comments Searle has made in the past.

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In all, Bernstein says he received two phone calls and several emails from Searle.

Searle stands by the timing of his phone call.

“He didn’t inquire, he accused me of being anti-Semitic, which is a crime,” Searle said. “If you send me hate mail. I will call you after I receive the hate mail.”

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On the early morning voicemail Searle can be heard saying “it’s only four in the morning, but I figured that people who send me hate mail can be called any time of the day because they hate.”

Bernstein denies his inquiries were fueled by hate, but says his experience has helped him decide who he won’t be voting for.

“I don’t need anything from him at this point,” Bernstein said. “He’s given me all I need as far as telling me whether or not I should vote for him.”

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Searle also caused uproar recently with his choice of words when referring to the extension of Cavendish Boulevard.

He suggested it would be equivalent to raping a community.

“Anybody who is going to complain about that is deeply, deeply, deeply uneducated,” Searle said.

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On Friday night, voters attended a meet-and-greet with Loyola councillor candidates.

Some were there to ask Searle about his recent comments.

“It seemed to be really quite out of touch with the basic sensitivities that affect half the women in Montreal,” Gilles Chiasson, a Notre-Dame-de-Grâce resident, said.

Searle is seeking re-election and he doesn’t believe any of this will negatively impact the outcome for him on Nov. 5.

“Why would it hurt my campaign?” he said.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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