Anjou borough Coun. Lynne Shand is being called out for comments she made on social media following an emergency medical appointment.
In a Facebook post, which has since been taken down, Shand complains that the ophthalmologist assigned to her case was a veiled woman.
“Had it not been an emergency, I would have refused to be treated by her,” the post reads in French. “I’m raging because it’s really the Islamization of our country. We have to accept everything: their reasonable accommodation, removing our crucifix (and I’m not a believer), etc., etc.”
In the comment thread beneath the post, Shand claims she wasn’t questioning the doctor’s qualifications, saying the ophthalmologist was excellent. However, the Anjou councillor goes on to claim that Muslims are “trying to convert the planet…through massive immigration and multiple births.”
“I’m not racist, I’m just a realist,” the comment continued. “Have you noticed how each time you see a veiled woman, she’s pushing a carriage with a baby?”
Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante took to Twitter on Sunday to condemn the comments.
“Montreal is an open, inclusive and diverse city,” Plante said.
“The comments of the councillor of Anjou are absolutely inappropriate and unworthy of an elected member. Elected officials have a duty to rise above the fray and show restraint in such a sensitive debate.”
The Canadian Muslim Forum, for its part, is calling on the councillor to issue a public apology or resign immediately.
Religious symbols, immigration and Islamophobia have all become contentious issues in Quebec, with the Coalition Avenir Québec government promising to reduce immigration and ban public servants in positions of authority from wearing religious symbols while on the job.
Premier François Legault himself came under fire in February after closing the door on the idea of designating a national day to combat Islamophobia, arguing that it wasn’t a problem in Quebec. Legault later backtracked, acknowledging that the problem existed but claiming it wasn’t widespread.
Shand’s remarks on social media were made on the eve of a Sunday’s march in Montreal against hate and xenophobia.