Video shows 2 women defacing election sign for Québec Solidaire Muslim candidate

Timothy Merlis says he was jogging along St-Viateur Street in Outremont Sunday when he saw two women vandalizing election signs for Ève Torrès.

Montreal man files complaint with Quebec's chief electoral officer

A Montreal university professor captured video of two women defacing an election poster for a Québec Solidaire candidate, who is Muslim. The professor has filed a complaint with Quebec's Chief Electoral Officer. (Facebook video screenshot)

Timothy Merlis says he was jogging along St-Viateur Street in Outremont Sunday when he saw two women vandalizing election signs for Ève Torrès, a Québec Solidaire candidate who is Muslim. 

Merlis has now filed a complaint to Quebec's chief electoral officer (DGEQ) and shared video he took of the two women.

In the video, one of the women pulls down the sign to write "un État laïc (a secular state)" on Torrès's headscarf, while the other looks at Merlis and laughs. 

Merlis, a McGill University associate professor, says he saw them deface another sign before that. He says he "was upset by their Islamophobic actions," and that he believed the vandalism was illegal, prompting him to notify the DGEQ.

"I was shocked at what I was seeing," Merlis said in an interview on CBC Montreal's Daybreak Monday. "These women were doing vandalism in broad daylight and I think they should be held accountable."

He says it was about 2:30 p.m. when the women were writing on the signs.

The DGEQ said it could not comment on individual complaints, but that it was up to police to deal with vandalism on electoral posters because defacing them is a crime.

Québec Solidaire candidate Eve Torres's electoral poster was vandalized in Outremont. A McGill University professor caught two women in Outremont on camera while they were writing on the posters. (Lauren McCallum/CBC)

Montreal police say they have opened a file into the matter, but can't investigate unless one of the implicated parties files a complaint.

Less than two weeks ago, another Muslim candidate in the Quebec provincial election had a sign vandalized in Quebec City. 

Independent candidate Ali Dahan's poster was riddled with plastic bullets. A 26-year-old man later turned himself in to police, who said they were not considering it a hate crime.

With files from Lauren McCallum