The Union of Quebec Municipalities (UMQ) wants to encourage people to run for public office and put an end to the intimidation of elected municipal officials.
The “Democracy with respect, out of respect for democracy” campaign, launched Monday, comes months before the November municipal elections in the province.
There is an increasing number of aggressive statements and acts of intimidation toward municipal officials, particularly on social media, says Suzanne Roy, president of the UMQ and mayor of Sainte-Julie in Montérégie. This is negatively affecting the political climate in many municipalities, especially since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Roy says.
While divergent opinions are essential for a healthy democratic society, the sharing of ideas and the diversity of points of view must be expressed with respect, tolerance, and civility, says the UMQ.
The UMQ’s action plan includes awareness and support measures for municipalities and the general public that will be implemented over the coming weeks and months.
UMQ members represent over 85 per cent of the population and territory of Quebec.