Councilor Nathalie Lemieux returned to City Council Tuesday after six weeks of absence. This was a surprise for most of his colleagues around the table. The politician who lost her position on the executive committee and her title of deputy mayor in the wake of her controversial remarks about the integration of Muslim communities, however, categorically refused to meet the media.
M me Lemieux had not been reviewed in the House of the citizen since his controversial remarks and condemned by the vast majority of his colleagues on Islamophobia. It had also sparked controversy by questioning, on social networks, the rotundity of planet Earth.
Mrs. Lemieux appeared smiling and serene at the opening of the preparatory caucus, in the afternoon. A discussion with Chief of Staff Melvin Jomphe, where she was urged to meet the media, seemed much more emotional for the politician. Through a city spokesperson, Ms. Lemieux said she had “nothing to add to the situation.”
In the evening, she again refused to answer questions from the media, but she took advantage of her opening remarks to make a statement that remained without any formal excuse. “In the past few weeks, I have been absent from the board table for personal reasons that I will not discuss publicly,” she said. I thank you for respecting my privacy. I want to thank the few colleagues who, throughout this difficult period of my life, have maintained their trust in me. Thank you also to the citizens who have taken a look beyond what has been reported in the media. ”
In early February, Ms. Lemieux told the law that the word Islamophobia “does not even exist”, that Justin Trudeau “invents this problem”, and that he “tries to cause problems where there are none” . She added that “when a people wants to integrate, it integrates and this people does not integrate”.
Despite pressing requests from some of her colleagues, Ms. Lemieux never formally apologized for what she said. However, she said on social networks, “sorry” that the publication of his remarks “could have shocked or hurt anyone”.