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Vision Montreal introduces Darlington candidate in view of November election
Article mis en ligne le jeudi 19 mars 2009
Photo Émilie Russo
Benoit Labonté, leader of Vision Montreal, introduces Keeton Clarke as his candidate in the district of Darlington.
The leader of Vision Montreal and mayor of Ville-Marie, Benoit Labonté, reiterated his party’s commitment to cultural diversity by introducing Keeton Clarke as his first candidate for city council in the district of Darlington.
“It’s an important symbolic gesture because cultural diversity is part of Vision Montreal’s political DNA,” Labonté said.
Clarke is the former chair of the Cultural Communities Commission of Mayor Gérald Tremblay’s Union Montréal party and was also president of the Caribbean Associations Council of Montreal.
The newly-appointed candidate said that he would like to see more citizens of every culture get involved in local politics and speak out on issues that concern them. Clarke’s priority is “to make sure that the members of this community will be included within the progress of Montreal.”
“We tend to forget that 48 per cent of the population of Montreal comes from a background other than French-Canadian or Anglo-Saxon. It’s a 21st century urban reality that requires a completely different approach,” said Labonté.
This approach starts with looking at Montreal as one diversified community rather than a bunch of different cultural communities stuck together. In fact, Labonté rejects the term “cultural community” altogether, saying that it creates an “us” versus “them” divide that doesn’t reflect the reality of the city.
“As a white Francophone, I am part of the cultural diversity of Montreal. It’s a much more inclusive approach, which is why I say that Montreal is a diversified community and not a diversity of communities.”
Louise Harel, an ex-Parti Québécois minister of municipal affairs, sparked controversy last week when she said in a television interview that cutting down the number of boroughs from 19 to 10 would divide the island into ethnic cities.

[ Iuliana Petrescu ]

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