TORONTO — The premier of Quebec is defending a candidate in next month’s election who is accused of spreading anti-Semitic propaganda.
At a news conference in Montreal today, Premier Pauline Marois said she stands by Parti Quebecois candidate Louise Mailloux, and said her party is not anti-Semitic.
In previous writings, Mailloux, who teaches philosophy at a Montreal college, called kosher certification “robbery” and a hidden “tax.”
In a 2012 newspaper article, Mailloux said Christians “missed a great opportunity to make lots of money” when they decided that all food is permissible. “Ding, ding, ding! You can imagine the trick, getting paid to bless bottles of Coke,” she wrote. “There are even rabbis who bless an entire truck (of Coke) in one go. It is more profitable, and it can bless the truck at the same time.”
She called for kosher slaughter to be banned, and for the government to provide rules to “secularize” food and no longer “promote religious accommodation” in food.
According to the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), Mailloux has called kosher certification a “ripoff,” “robbery” and a “tax” paid “directly … to the synagogue,” unbeknownst to Quebecers.
“She echoes a conspiracy created and spread by the Ku Klux Klan, and championed by many other racist and Neo-Nazi groups,” CIJA said in a statement.
Marois said the views are Mailloux’s and do not reflect those of the party.
In an interview Thursday with the Montreal newspaper La Presse, Mailloux said she “absolutely” stands by her remarks.
“We are extremely troubled by the candidacy of Louise Mailloux, a woman who has repeatedly propagated the urban legend of the ‘kosher tax,’ ” CIJA said.
“The absurd and profoundly defamatory statements of Louise Mailloux toward Quebec Jews is not befitting a major political party like the Parti Quebécois. Her candidacy sets a bad precedent that could contribute to the erosion of the political discourse in Quebec,” CIJA stated.