MONTREAL (Nov. 24)
Jewish leaders here are attempting to change the name of a metro station that they say is named after a notorious racist and anti-Semite.
The Lionel Groulx metro station, one of the many entry points to Montreal’s famed Underground City, is named for an abby and religious leader in Quebec who earlier this century spouted anti-Semitic diatribes during church sermons and in the pages of the French-language daily Le Devoir.
“Whatever Groulx’s other accomplishments, he led and inspired a variety of nationalism that was ethnocentric, anti-Semitic and xenophobic,” B’nai Brith Canada wrote in a letter to the executive committee of the Montreal Urban Community.
In 1901, Groulx founded the nationalist Catholic Action group.
Nearly a century later, Quebec is still riven by disputes over whether the province should separate from the rest of Canada.
The letter said Groulx’s “brand of nationalism has little in common with civic or territorial nationalism proclaimed by today’s younger adherents to Quebec nationalism, and they will hopefully understand the pain and anger of our community.”
B’nai Brith recommended that the name of the station be changed to commemorate the late Cardinal Paul Emile Leger, a Quebec cleric “whose life work was committed to the underprivileged of all races and religions.”