The Quebec Hellenic Congress was on the defensive this weekend after counselling Greek voters in a Montreal-area riding not to vote for the Liberal party because their candidate is not of Greek origin.
In a letter sent out to its members last weekend, the Congress stated voters in Laval-des-Iles should reconsider their support for Michael Ignatieff’s party because of “the arbitrary decision to nominate a candidate of non-Greek origin, this despite the fact that in this riding there are 30,000 voters of Greek origin who regularly vote for the Liberal party.”
The candidate in question, Karine Joizil, is of Haitian descent. A mother of twin boys with a third child due in early September, Joizil is a lawyer and has over a decade of political experience with the Liberal Party in Quebec.
Despite her credentials, the president of the Hellenic Congress of Quebec, Peter Georgakakos, says Joizil’s nomination to the federal race came “too fast.” He defended the Congress’s unanimous decision, made on April 19, to issue the statement asking Greeks in the riding to vote for another candidate.
“It’s nothing personal against her . . . we don’t even know her,” Georgakakos said Saturday.