Local politicians and constituents turned out last Thursday in large numbers to support Mount Royal MP Anthony Housefather's nomination for next year's federal election.
The event, which was also a Volunteer' Appreciation Evening and attracted a diverse audience from many local communities, included a showing at Decarie Square's Dollar Cinema of the latest Star Wars movie.
But a fair part of the event also consisted of Housefather expressing support for local provincial Liberals — namely D'Arcy McGee MNA David Birnbaum and Mont Royal MNA (Mont Royal-Outremont after the election if the riding merger is not stopped by the courts) Pierre Arcand— ahead of the Oct. 1 election. Recent polls have shown the Quebec Liberals, in general, not faring well against the CAQ.
"In both the provincial and federal elections coming up, there are going to be choices to make about how we best preserve a united Canada, and how we ensure we have a Quebec and a Canada that are respectful of both language groups and of all communities that live in those provinces," Housefather said. "We have two governments that have done an incredible job to fight for that vision.
"I was at Pierre Arcand's office opening and he said something very intelligent — 'when you're doing well, you don't change the captain of the ship,'" the MP added. "Right now, the economies of Quebec and Canada are doing better than they've done since the 1970s."
Also in his speech, Housefather expressed his support for language equality between anglophones and francophones throughout Canada, and for multiculturalism and diversity in an apparent partial response to recent tweets about multiculturalism and diversity by, without mentioning his name, Conservative MP Maxime Bernier.
"I'm fighting for a Canada that is inclusive... one where minority rights and multiculturalism are respected," Housefather said.
The stage was filled with municipal, provincial and federal — current and former — politicians expressing support for Housefather, including former Mount Royal MP Irwin Cotler, Birnbaum and Arcand, former D'Arcy McGee MNA Lawrence Bergman, Côte St. Luc Mayor Mitchell Brownstein (the host of the evening), who read a note of support from Councillor Ruth Kovac; CSL Councillor Steven Erdelyi, and former CSL Councillor Glenn Nashen; Hampstead councillors Leon Elfassy and Warren Budning — the latter of whom read a note of support from Mayor William Steinberg; Snowdon Councillor Marvin Rotrand (who did criticize Bernier by name); and Town of Mount Royal Mayor Philippe Roy and councillors Joseph Daoura and Minh-Diem Le Thi.
"Anthony has been an exemplary constituency MP— present, participating, responsive, effective," Cotler said. "He has been an excellent MP in Ottawa. I have witnessed his effectiveness there."
"Anthony has blue chip integrity and honesty," Bergman said, who also lauded the MP's fights against anti-Semitism and hatred.