In Canada, a member of Parti Quebecois has been forced to withdraw from an election race after posting the picture below to his Facebook account:The picture, which features model Heidi Klum (who did not make the statement), was posted by Jean Carriere to his Facebook account in January. Carriere had been running to represent the LaFontaine area of Montreal in parliament. It is also not the first controversial post that Carriere had made: previously, he made Facebook statements in support of Marine Le Pen, the leader of France’s Front National party. That party has made waves for its extreme right positions of halting immigrants from certain countries. The connection between the Parti Quebecois and Front National is an easy one, given that the PQ recently called for a “Charter of Quebec Values” that would, among other things, prohibit public employees from wearing religious symbols.
After his withdrawal, Carriere explained his position on Facebook (his page has since been deleted), saying that he made the post because it was “feminist.” He also added: “I have been treated like a xenophobe, a token black, a racist…and yet, I am nothing like this…I am fighting and have fought evil in the world. With the photo, I was sharing my disgust of certain religious practices that oppress women and men, all done in the name of religion.”
So, in other words…no apology and clearly no conception of why this post was so offended.
In another awkward Facebook moment, one of the commenters on Facebook who expressed support for Carriere was Roland Richer, a PQ member of the National Assembly for Quebec. In a comment, Richer expressed his sorrow that Carriere had to withdraw and said he didn’t serve to have been forced to do so.
There’s at least two members of the PQ who don’t seem to understand that racism shouldn’t be accepted in the public arena.