Philippe Couillard opposes marking mosque shooting with day against Islamophobia

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard has sided with the largest opposition parties in the National Assembly, balking at a proposal by the National Council of Muslim Canadians to commemorate the victims of last year's mosque shooting with against Islamophobia.

Premier sides with PQ and CAQ, balks at commemoration proposal by National Council of Canadian Muslims

Montreal students held a rally against Islamophobia after last year's mosque shooting in Quebec City. (Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press)

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard says he doesn't want to mark the anniversary of the Quebec City mosque shooting with a day against Islamophobia.

Couillard says he plans to attend events to commemorate the Jan. 29 attack and pay tribute to the community hurt by the tragedy, but he's not in favour of a proposal made last month by Canada's largest Muslim group. 

"We believe that it is better to emphasize collectively our commitment against the phenomenon of racism and discrimination, rather than singling out one of its manifestations," Couillard told reporters Monday, pointing out that Quebec already recognizes an international day for the elimination of racial discrimination.

The National Council of Canadian Muslims has called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to make the anniversary of the shooting a day of action against Islamophobia.

The federal government hasn't taken a firm position on the proposal.

The Parti Québécois and Coalition Avenir Québec, Quebec's two largest opposition parties, have come out against the idea, while Québec Solidaire is in favour. 

Six Muslim men were shot and killed and 19 others were wounded in an attack on the mosque during prayers last Jan. 29.

Alexandre Bissonnette of Quebec City is to stand trial in March on six charges each of first-degree murder and attempted murder.