January 19, 2024
MONTREAL – B’nai Brith Canada has filed a complaint with a local government body after it failed to reign in protesters who recently disrupted official business and targeted Jewish officials.
The Dec. 21, 2023, meeting of the Agglomeration Council of Montreal – an institution responsible for urban planning, adopting bylaws, and other city affairs – was disturbed by individuals who used the question period to target Jack Edery, the representative of Jeremy Levi, the Mayor of Hampstead, who was absent. Both are Jewish.
In one case, a speaker accused Mayor Levi of conduct that was racist and discriminatory for introducing a law banning individuals from tearing down posters depicting Israelis taken hostage by Hamas. The speaker further alleged that he supports “genocide” against Palestinians.
“It is outrageous that these protesters felt entitled to derail such an important municipal body,” said Henry Topas, B’nai Brith Canada’s Quebec Regional Director. “The council should take steps to prevent such disruptions in the future.”
The actions of the protesters appear to have violated the assembly’s rules. For example, when seeking permission to address the council they misrepresented the subject of their questions so that they would be approved to speak. Unfortunately, even when this misconduct became clear, the chair failed to use her authority to intervene in an effective manner.
“By misdirecting the council’s attention and resources, these protesters undermined the democratic process,” said Richard Robertson, B’nai Brith Canada’s Manager of Research. “We hope that the Agglomeration Council will urgently address our concerns and restore public trust in Montreal’s municipal government.”