Age remarks distract from diversity debate at Montreal city hall

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Niemi cautioned that when focusing on diversity, it’s important to have representatives of visible minorities, but it’s equally important that ethnocultural and linguistic minorities are also represented.

Eta Yudin, the vice-president of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, said she was concerned when she first heard Wong’s comments.

“It certainly gave the impression that a Jew elected to office doesn’t meet the threshold of a diversity candidate,” Yudin said. “That being said, we reached out to her right away and she responded very quickly.”

She said Wong later clarified to CIJA that the Jewish community is important to be represented on council.

Balarama Holness, the founder of Montreal in Action — which advocates for equity and diversity — said he, too, was disappointed with how the tone of the debate devolved into a war of words.

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