Ex-Liberal candidate Guillet promises 'soon the truth will be known by all'
Daniel J. Rowe with reporting from Kelly Greig, CTV Montreal
Published Saturday, August 31, 2019 5:11PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, August 31, 2019 6:38PM EDT
Fallout continues after the Liberal party's decision to drop star St-Leonard-St-Michel candidate Hassan Guillet in response to allegations of anti-Semitic comments.
The former iman who delivered a moving prayer at the funeral for the victims of the Quebec City mosque shooting said he's promising to share information of his own.
"This is not the whole truth and it is not the end," Guillet wrote on his Facebook page. "Certainly I will not abandon the thousands of people who have believed in me and want real change.
"Soon the truth will be known by all. We have an appointment with history."
Guillet volunteers held a closed-door meeting hours after the news broke, and Guillet offered an apology Friday but refused interviews Saturday.
"I confirm that I am not anti-Semitic," he wrote in his apology. "On the contrary, I campaign and will always campaign against all forms of racism including Islamophobia and anti-Semitism."
He told CTV Saturday that he questioned the timing of the decision coming on the eve of a long weekend, and will have a news conference September 4.
Jewish human rights advocacy group B'nai Brith raised complaints about Guillet celebrating the release of Hamas-aligned activist Raed Salah, who referred to Israel as occupied Palestine, and claimed Jewish people "use children's blood for baking 'holy bread'."
The organization said the remarks were made on social media, and the posts have since been deleted.
In a statement, the Liberals said Guillet's comments were not in line with the party, and that the Liberals are against all forms of discrimination.
Conservative leader Andrew Scheer described the remarks as repugnant and a hateful attack on Israel.
B'nai Brith said it alerted the party to the comments weeks ago.
"I'm surprised it's taken them this long," said University of Windsor political science professor Lydia Miljan. "According to B'Nai Brith, they had alerted them about this issue earlier in the month and according to them, they had no response from the Liberals. It was only when they went public today that the Liberals quickly revoked the candidacy. I also find it interesting the Liberals didn't vet him ahead of time. Why aren't they doing their own research on candidates?"
Guillet decided to run for the Liberals in June 2018 and give up his role as Imam.
St-Leonard-St-Michel is a Liberal stronghold having gone red every election since it was created in 1988.
The deadline to file a candidate is 21 days before the election, which has to be on or before October 21.