Québec Solidaire (QS) on Tuesday disavowed the new special advisor in the fight against Islamophobia, Amira Elghawaby.

All parties in the Quebec legislature rejected her nomination, except QS, which made a decision on Tuesday.

The left-wing party also tabled a motion in the National Assembly in the afternoon for Quebec to have its own plan to fight Islamophobia, but the CAQ government would not agree to debate it.

QS wanted to meet with Elghawaby before deciding on her suitability for the job, after her comments about Quebecers.

However, QS reported that the woman, after several exchanges, refused to meet with party representatives before she takes office on Feb. 20.

"Honestly, we don't understand why this meeting wasn't possible," commented QS parliamentary leader Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois in a press scrum at the National Assembly.

The QS caucus then met and ruled unanimously. The party determined that dialogue would not be possible with Elghawaby and concluded she is not the right person to hold the position.

"Justin Trudeau's strategy has been a failure," says the parliamentary leader.


The motion tabled by the QS MNA for Laurier-Dorion, Andrés Fontecilla, asked that "the Quebec National Assembly recognize the existence of Islamophobia in Quebec."

It also called on the Quebec government to quickly put in place a plan to combat Islamophobia in Quebec.

"The government's role is to protect all Quebecers, regardless of their religion," Nadeau-Dubois pleaded in a scrum after question time.

"The attack on the Quebec City mosque was an Islamophobic attack. Recognizing this does not mean putting the people of Quebec on trial. It means recognising that the problem exists."

Justin Trudeau's appointment caused a firestorm in Quebec because of statements Elghawaby made about Quebecers during her career.

Last week, she made a point of apologizing, but the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ), the Liberal Party (PLQ) and the Parti Québécois (PQ) felt that this was not enough.

QS parliamentary leader Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois said last week that the apology was a step in the right direction and that he was counting on dialogue.

"We can't dialogue alone," Nadeau-Dubois said.

- This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on Feb. 7, 2023