Dr. Dawg

Racist Liberal candidates? Nothing new, unfortunately

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Michael Ignatieff is trying to salvage something from the André Forbes mess, by appearing to act decisively and quickly to remove an outspoken white supremacist who has been a Liberal candidate in Manicouagan for more than a year.

One wonders why it took so long to uncover what everybody knew in the riding. It’s not as though the man kept his tongue in his pocket, as the québécois say. But Forbes blames the NDP for blowing the gaff. No matter. He’s out, and now self-identifying as Métis. Go figure.

But was this a one-off? Sadly, no.

Some folks seem to have short memories. But in the 2008 election, the Liberals ran two other racists in Quebec, Simon Bédard in Québec-Centre, and Ricardo Lopez, formerly a Mulroney Tory, in Beauharnois-Salaberry.

On the Oka crisis in 1990, this is what Bédard, a radio commentator, had to say:

Tu rentres là avec l’armée pis tu nettoies tout ça. Cinquante morts, 100 morts, 125 morts, ça vient de s’éteindre. On enterre ça pis on continue à vivre. [You go in with the army and you clean things up. Fifty dead, 100 dead, 125 dead, that will end this. We bury it and life goes on.]

A Liberal spokesperson, Robert Boulay, said that these remarks went back a long time. As reported:

Ce n’est pas un gars qui a la langue dans sa poche, souligne-t-il. Mais il a maintenant 18 années de plus de vie. Il a une évolution intellectuelle extraordinaire et encore plus de bagou. Mais ça va être dit différement. [He’s not shy about opening his mouth, [Boulay] stressed. But he’s eighteen years older now. His intellectual development has been extraordinary; he still runs his mouth, but he’d say things differently now.]

Well, not so, as it happened. As reported by the Montreal Gazette and Le Soleil, Bédard remained unrepentant:

On a été scandalisé parce que j’ai dit : ‘Allons-y avec l’armée et nettoyons ça une fois pour toutes!’ Mais peut-être qu’on aurait d le faire parce que 17 [sic] ans plus tard, c’est encore la même chose. Et s’il y a de quoi, c’est pire.” [“They were scandalized when I said: ‘go in with the army and clean this up once and for all.’ But perhaps they should have done it , because 17 [sic] years later, it’s the same thing. In fact, it’s worse.”

Bédard still wanted armed intervention to stop smuggling in Kanesatake. At the time, he demanded “forceful federal intervention,” and hoped that his then-leader, Stéphane Dion, would stand with him.

For his part, ex-Tory Lopez preferred forced exile to mass murder. During Oka, he proposed that all Natives be deported to Labrador, although he then claimed his remark was taken out of context. (In what context would such a comment be acceptable?)

When this all blew up in the press, Stéphane Dion duly gave Bédard the heave. As for Lopez, he became an uncandidate. (Lopez? Who?) Paul Wells had some acid comments about that adroit manoeuvre at the time.

White-power Liberals? Not always, alas, a contradiction in terms.

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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on April 6, 2011 8:30 PM.

Election 2011: the RCMP's non-apology to Awish Aslam was the previous entry in this blog.

Election 2011: moral eclipse of the Sun is the next entry in this blog.

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