Côte St. Luc Mayoral candidate David Tordjman is calling for a return to civil discourse in this year’s municipal election, in light of a recording of a recent conversation involving District 6 candidate Jeffrey Kovac that was sent to the Tordjman campaign. The Tordjman campaign then sent out a press release and the audio recording to major media including The Suburban. “The promotion of hate and allusions to violence have no place in political discourse,” Tordjman said. “The essence of democracy is to achieve a peaceful transfer of political power. All Côte St. Luc residents deserve a chance to engage in civil dialogue free of intimidation. We should collectively deplore such talk. If our opponents wish to respond, we expect them to do so publicly, without any hint of intimidation.”
The 17-minute recording, given to Team Tordjman and sent to the media, is of District 6 candidate Jeffrey Kovac commenting negatively regarding Tordjman, who he calls a “dangerous motherf--ker.” At 10:56 on the recording, Kovac is heard to say Tordjman “is a religious f--king fanatic, a black kippa wearing fanatic. He doesn’t give a s--t about anyone except for him and Hashem (God)....David Tordjman is a f--king piece of s--t.” At 12:27, Kovac is heard to say: “And now Tordjman is forming a team to try and get rid of all of the good things, so that he can be the f--king Mayor. I’m telling you, I’ve never seen anyone more disgusting in my motherf--king life. He’s a piece of s--t. If I could take him to the f--king Octagon (a mixed martial arts reference), trust me, I’m military trained, he wouldn’t last f--king 10 seconds with me.”
During the recording, Kovac also says “there’s a lot of s--t going on in CSL right now with rabbis and intimidation, and threats because the rabbis want something, and the rest of the CSL residents are going to have to pay taxes that the rabbis don’t pay, and they want to continue building all these little synagogues in duplexes that they don’t end up paying taxes on, and it’s going to be a f--king free-for-all for all of them if someone doesn’t stop it.I’m going to make sure he loses,” Kovac says, also commenting that political parties are “dangerous” for CSL.
Contacted by The Suburban, Kovac said: “First and foremost, I do sincerely apologize for the uncharacteristic language I used while having a private conversation with a family acquaintance. I don’t promote hatred or violence in any way. I never have, nor would I ever. I was unaware that a private conversation was being taped in order to try and defame my name and campaign. I am very passionate about civility and fair play, so after hearing about how one of my opponents was apparently treated by our opposition with apparent means of intimidation and pressure, it was very upsetting. With that being said, I have never once attempted or thought of using smear tactic campaigning towards anyone, therefore this attempt to smear my good name is something that we should all take into consideration. Does CSL need someone who resorts to taping private phone calls, only to use them for their own campaign gains? I am personally appalled that this is someone looking to lead our community. CSL doesn’t deserve smear tactic campaigns. CSL deserves leadership that will solely focus on issues and constituents.”
Asked to respond to Kovac’s apology and comments, Tordjman told The Suburban: “I condemn and deplore uncivil discourse. I’m absolutely always ready to talk about issues, the important issues we should be talking about, such as how we’re spending our money, the lead in the water issue, the tendering of contracts. I want to talk about issues that are important to CSL. I don’t want to have these types of distractions, the hateful references. As a collective, every candidate should condemn his words. It has no place in the political dialogue.”