MONTREAL -- Longtime city councillor Marvin Rotrand is poised to take on a new position fighting hate when he leaves Montreal City Hall next month.

He will serve with B’Nai Brith Canada as national director of its League for Human Rights, the organization announced on Monday.

Rotrand is Montreal’s longest-serving councillor, having spent the last 39 years representing the west-end district of Snowdon under eight different mayors. He announced in June that he would not seek re-election in November’s municipal vote.

“Marvin’s extensive contacts at all three levels of government and his record of defending civil rights and building alliances between various communities will be a real asset for our organization,” said B’nai Brith Canada CEO Michael Mostyn in a news release. 

Mostyn said Rotrand shares B’nai Brith Canada’s “vision of advancing our advocacy and promoting initiatives vital to the Jewish community and minorities at large.”

Rotrand cited the pandemic in spurring online hate, saying he supports advancing measures to reduce it, and that it foments radicalization and violence.

“COVID-19 has brought out the haters,” Rotrand said in a statement. “Statistics Canada has reported that crime fell nationally by five per cent in 2020 but that hate crimes rose an unprecedented 37 per cent, to their highest reported level in history. Jews are the most targeted. Hatred is unacceptable and this position with B’nai B’rith will allow our organization to work with governments and other bodies toward finding effective solutions.”

Rotrand says he plans to keep his position at city hall until the official transition of power on Nov. 18. The municipal election in Montreal will take place on Nov. 7.