Dear Sue Montgomery,
It has come to our attention that you have launched a new municipal party in Montréal, “Courage – Équipe Sue Montgomery.” As activists and politicians engaged in struggles for economic, racial, and environmental justice, we find this news confusing and disappointing.
We know Courage Montréal as the Montréal branch of Courage Coalition, a national organization established in 2017. Courage is a coalition of the independent left. They are non-partisan, but believe in engaging with the electoral process as one way of pushing for bold, progressive social change.
Courage Montréal has been working in the city since 2019 to advocate for transformational policies and insurgent campaigns. Taking the name “Courage” for your political party will no doubt lead to confusion on the part of the public.
It is also a clear example of appropriation. The work that Courage Montréal has done to support local community efforts, such as in a series of press conferences held in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en and climate justice, in rejection of post-pandemic austerity for the poor and working people, and calling for a jobs guarantee, is now at risk of being associated with your new party. In addition, the federal candidates that Courage has endorsed and whose campaigns it has supported, will be confused with your project and the policies that you choose to pursue. The credibility that Courage Montréal has built with the community of Montréal is not something that should be used for your own political purposes.
As local activists, we find this highly disrespectful of the significant volunteer labour that has been put forward by Courage Montréal members in their work to support community organizations, strong leftist politicians, and social movements.
What makes your decision even more disappointing are the vast political differences between yourself and Courage. For instance, whereas Courage supports Freedom for Palestine and has been highly critical of the IHRA definition of anti-semitism, you support the IHRA definition. Courage is also a proud supporter of the movement to Defund the Police, Land Back, and a Green New Deal for the North. Courage calls for abolishing billionaires, strongly rejects oil pipelines and the expansion of fossil fuels, and is highly critical of Canadian imperialist foreign policy in Venezuela and Iran.
We strongly urge you to adopt the principles and policy positions for which Courage has advocated and to actively support the organizations fighting for these policies, to which many of the undersigned belong.
Until that time, as members of the progressive community in Montréal and Canada, we respectfully request that you immediately remove the name and logo “COURAGE” from your newly founded political party and all associated materials.
For Media Requests:
Kalden Dhatsenpa (English): email@example.com
Victor Tardif (français): Victortardif8@gmail.com
Signees / Signé(e)
Organizations / Organisations
Democratic Socialists of Canada – Montréal
CERAS (Centre d’Étude et Ressources d’Asie Sud/Centre for Study and Research in South Asia) – Montréal
Politicians – Montréal
Meryam Haddad, Former Green Party of Canada leadership candidate / Ancienne Candidate à la chefferie du Parti vert du Canada
Christine Paré, Ancienne candidate NPD pour Papineau
Konstantine Malakos, NDP/ NPD candidate/candidat Glengarry-Prescott-Russell
Kalden Dhatsenpa, Ancien candidat NPD pour Longueuil–Charles-Lemoyne
Pierre-Alexandre Rochette – Courage Montréal
Stefan Christoff – Courage Montréal, Immigrant Workers Centre board, CKUT radio host
Joseph Sannicandro – Courage Montréal
Frederic Langlois – Courage Coalition, Horizon Ottawa, Suppress the Virus Now! Coalition,
Christian Favreau – Montréal, QC
Penny Oyama – Courage Coalition, Burnaby, B. C.
Darin Barney – Courage Montréal
Nicolas Chevalier – Montréal, QC
Meagan Wiper – Justice Internationale, Courage Ottawa
Paula Krasiun-Winsel – Regina, MB
Peter Chen – Montréal, QC
Sam Hersh – Ottawa
Zach Ripka – Montréal
Gerald Rowe, PhD – Montréal Elders for Environmental Justice, Montréal
Raidin Brailsford – Courage Toronto
Adleen Crapo – Toronto, ON
Gabriel Bourget – Courage Ottawa
Paul Merriam – Gatineau, QC
Derek Nason – Saint John, NB
James Arruda – Montréal, QC
Jennifer Williamson – Toronto, ON
Adrian Murray – Ottawa, ON
Andre Goulet – Montréal, QC
Melanie Mathias – Ottawa, ON
Laura Shantz – Ottawa, ON
Julia Maksymetz – Montréal, QC
Matthew Daniels – Toronto, ON
Charles McFadden – Fredericton, NB
Murray Cooke – Toronto, ON
Nigel Morton – Toronto, ON
Tamara Sandor – Montréal, QC
Cayley Sorochan – Montréal, QC
Laura Dunn – Montréal, QC
Marcus Peters – Montréal, QC