LPC tried to find a compromise with Hassan Guillet, Trudeau confirms
Justin Trudeau admits that his team tried to find a solution to keep Hassan Guillet’s candidacy in Saint-Léonard-Saint-Michel. It was finally revoked after B’nai Brith revealed past statements deemed “anti-Semitic” by the candidate.
“In any situation, we always try to create ways to bring people together, not to divide them. But when it became clear that the comments were unacceptable, he had to be asked to leave, “Trudeau said on Monday on the sidelines of an announcement in Waterloo, Ontario.
There is, however, some uncertainty as to when the LPC was made aware of these statements. Mr. Trudeau, who was speaking for the first time on this subject, did not want to clarify the mystery.
B’nai Brith says it brought to the party’s attention late in August some of the old statements Mr. Guillet made on social media. According to the group, these statements are “disturbing, anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli”.
In a commentary, dated July 8, 2017, and broadcast by B’nai Brith, Mr. Guillet welcomes the release, “after nine months in a prison in occupied Palestine,” of the activist Raed Salah that he calls ” resistant “and” jihadist “.
B’nai Brith also points to a Guillet interview with Radio Canada International in Spanish in December 2017, where he comments on US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Mr. Guillet says in this interview that Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, “an ultra-Orthodox Jew and a pro-Israel fundamentalist,” advocates the “Israel first” policy.
On August 30, the LPC issued a press release to revoke Mr. Guillet’s candidacy.
“If these statements could be considered offensive to some of my fellow Jews, I apologize,” he said in a statement that seemed to have been prepared to calm the game and remain a candidate of the PLC.
At a press conference a few days later, the principal said he was “betrayed” by Justin Trudeau’s entourage, who was aware of his controversial claims.
Mr. Guillet also said that the party began work on an “action plan” in early August to demonstrate the support of members of the Jewish community for his candidacy.
In May, Mr. Guillet obtained the Liberal nomination in the Montreal riding of Saint-Léonard-Saint-Michel, traditionally represented by a candidate of Italian origin, after a hot fight.
The LPC finally announced last week that the new candidate is City Councilor Patricia Lattanzio, who came in second in the nomination contest.
That did not stop the Conservatives – who themselves had to deal with problems with candidates within their own troops – from attacking the Liberals over Mr. Guillet in the last days.
They consider that the former candidate held “horrible anti-Semitic and anti-Israel remarks” and accused the PLC of wanting to sweep Mr. Guillet’s words under the carpet with “a public relations strategy”.
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