Anjou borough Coun. Lynne Shand has been removed from her party following comments she made on social media about a doctor wearing a Muslim headscarf.
The move comes after Shand penned a Facebook post last weekend complaining that she was treated by an ophthalmologist wearing a veil during an emergency medical appointment.
“A veiled woman…grrr… Had it not been an emergency, I would have refused to be treated by her,” she wrote in the post, which has since been taken down. Shand also said there was “Islamization” of Canada.
Her comments sparked furor among citizens and municipal politicians. Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante condemned the remarks, saying the city was “open, inclusive and diverse.”
Shand apologized earlier this week, saying she wasn’t criticizing the doctor’s skills and competency, but argued Muslims are “trying to convert the planet…through massive immigration and multiple births.”
Anjou Mayor Luis Miranda confirmed to Global News that Shand has been booted from Équipe Anjou. While she will still remain a borough councillor, she will sit as an independent.
“Following Ms. Shand’s comments on members of the Muslim community, Équipe Anjou’s decision to exclude Ms. Shand is unequivocal,” the municipal party said in a statement.
The move to expel Shand wasn’t an easy decision but the party could not endorse her comments, according to Miranda.
“We don’t agree with what she said, with what she wrote,” he said.
Calls for resignation
Cathy Wong, the speaker of the Montreal city council, announced on Wednesday she would file a complaint with the province’s municipal commission against Shand.
Wong said 10 per cent of Anjou’s population is Muslim. She argues when Shand made remarks about a Muslim woman, she attacks all Montrealers.
The embattled borough councillor is also facing a growing number of calls for her resignation from community groups and residents.
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A petition demanding Shand step down has garnered more than 9,400 signatures. It describes her remarks as “racist, Islamophobic and disgraceful from an elected official.”
The Black Coalition of Quebec is also calling on Shand to resign as soon as possible. In a statement issued on Wednesday, the group said she should not be representing the residents of Anjou.
“It is a manifestation of very serious intolerance and a lack of respect for the competence and religion of others,” the Coalition wrote.
— With files from Global News’ Gloria Henriquez, Rachel Lau and The Canadian Press