MONTREAL (Nov. 5)
The lieutenant governor of Quebec has resigned after disclosing that he wore a swastika as a medical student 54 years ago.
Jean-Louis Roux, 74, a former actor recently appointed to the largely ceremonial position of lieutenant governor by Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, faced a barrage of criticism after making the disclosure in an interview with the French-language news magazine L’Actualite.
He also admitted in the interview that he participated in an anti-draft demonstration in 1942 that degenerated into vandalism of Jewish-owned shops.
Faced with criticism from groups including the Canadian Jewish Congress and B’nai Brith Canada, which had called for a full apology to the Quebec Jewish community, Roux issued a statement Monday in which he expressed regret for “an error in my youth.”
On Tuesday, he submitted a one-sentence letter of resignation to Chretien.
Roux was the official representative in Quebec of Canada’s head of state, Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain.
He is a staunch federalist who opposes the secession of Quebec from the rest of Canada.
Prior to his resignation, many leading separatists had demanded Roux’s dismissal.
Gilles Rheaume, a leader of the Sovereign Movement of Quebec, sent a telegram Monday to Queen Elizabeth asking her to have Roux removed from power.
The separatist Bloc Quebecois had demanded that Roux be recalled by Chretien “for racist behavior.”