Ensemble Montréal candidate apologizes over controversial social media posts

Dan Kraft, Ensemble Montréal candidate for city councillor in Outremont.
Dan Kraft, Ensemble Montréal candidate for city councillor in Outremont. Dan Kraft / Ensemble Montréal

An Ensemble Montréal candidate is in hot water for comments he made on social media over the last year.

Dan Kraft, who is running for city councillor in the Claude-Ryan district of Outremont, posted a comment under a Facebook invitation for the Global Climate March last month including a link to a documentary denying climate change.

In 2020, he commented under a news story about a Black man who was wrongly accused by Ottawa police of having expired plates on his rental car. Kraft wrote, in part, “this driver and many others are just seeking their 15-minute fame moment. Crap.”

“Certain shares and comments on my social media don’t represent the values of Ensemble Montréal, I have apologized to the party. I also apologize to people who were offended by my comments and I have deleted those posts,” Kraft said in a statement.

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“I have learned from my mistake and I’m committed to being more prudent.”

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During a news conference on Friday, Ensemble Montréal leader Denis Coderre stood by Kraft.

“It’s unacceptable,” Coderre said, but added that Kraft has apologized and is staying with the party.

Ensemble Montréal has already removed another candidate for controversial comments.

Joe Ortona, head of the English Montreal School Board (EMSB), was running for city councillor in the district of Loyola for the borough of Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce but was ousted last month over a statement made by the school board saying that Quebec is not a nation.

When asked why Ortona was dismissed but not Kraft, Coderre replied that it’s different, because Ortona had already been given other chances, without offering further explanation.

“Nevertheless, both are unacceptable. But I believe (Kraft) apologized and he said that he won’t do it again and we agree with that,” Coderre said. “But there won’t be another chance if I witness that again from Mr. Kraft.”

When asked about the issue, Projet Montréal leader Valérie Plante questioned the kind of message the party is sending by keeping “a climate change skeptic” on as a candidate.

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“I will let them manage their caucus but that party clearly doesn’t put the fight against climate change on top of the list,” Plante said.

Ensemble Montréal wrote in a statement that it is ready to turn the page.

–with files from Global’s Anne Leclair and Annabelle Olivier

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