Montreal

Four Green nominees in Quebec made Islamophobic comments, party says

The Green party says it recently learned of Islamophobic social-media posts by four of its Quebec candidates.

The party says it will review its internal policies and procedures

Green Party leader Elizabeth May speaks during the Federal leaders debate in Gatineau, Que. on Monday, October 7, 2019. Four of the party's nominees in Quebec have made Islamophobic social media posts. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

The Green Party said Tuesday it recently learned of Islamophobic social-media posts by four of its Quebec candidates.

The candidates will make public apologies and commit to learning more about Islam by working with the National Council of Canadian Muslims, the party said.

One of the four, Katherine Turgeon, posted a note Tuesday on Facebook suggesting she was simply making a joke in 2013 and did not intend to offend anyone.

The comments were "not racist at all on my part .... sorry for those who took it wrong," wrote Turgeon, who is running in the southern Quebec riding of Shefford.

The names of the other candidates were not immediately available and the party would not say when they might make statements.

The election campaign has seen a steady string of revelations about inappropriate comments by candidates from various parties, including the Greens.

The party said it would review its internal policies and procedures to find ways of better standing up against Islamophobia and racism.

The party stressed it is working for a better future in which all Canadians can flourish.

News of the controversial comments came as Green Leader Elizabeth May visited Kamloops, B.C., to call for fundamental change to Canada's taxation system to make it more fair.

May wants tax reform

"Reform is long overdue," May said in a statement. "In this rich country, the growing gap between rich and poor is just plain wrong."

The Greens advocate an arm's-length Federal Tax Commission to analyze the system for fairness and accessibility.

"Closing tax loopholes that benefit the wealthy will be a priority," May said.

The party would increase the federal corporate tax rate to 21 per cent from 15 per cent to bring it into line with the United States, maintain the current level of taxation for small business and charge a five-per-cent surtax on commercial bank profits.

Credit unions, caisses populaires and co-ops would be exempt.

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