Transport Minister Robert Poëti Regrets Sexist Remarks

Transport Minister Robert Poëti Regrets Sexist Remarks

Quebec City (Quebec) 7 March 2015 – Minor controversy has erupted around Transport Minister Robert Poëti after he made sexist off-the-cuff remarks to a Gaspésien audience on Thursday.  Speaking in front of the Baie-des-Chaleurs Chamber of Commerce, Minister Poëti invited the members present to Montréal for a Gaspésie-oriented dinner at the Montréal Chamber of Commerce in late spring.  He lamented that the loaded schedule would make it difficult for him to show the guests around Montréal, but then added: “Wives are welcome.  Montréal has many shopping centres.”

Women in the audience, who had come to learn about the Minister’s vision of transportation, were reportedly disappointed by the Minister’s comments and attitude which reinforced stereotypes of women as second-class persons.  Women are still a minority in the transportation industry, and few women were in the audience.

Premier Couillard, on a trip to France, was informed of the remarks and called them “poorly chosen”.  In a press release issued Friday, Minister Poëti said he was “deeply saddened” if his “regrettable” remarks offended anyone, stating it was not his intention to do so.  He however stopped short of a formal apology.

Both Minister Poëti and the Baie-des-Chaleurs Chamber of Commerce lament that the Minister’s closing comments overshadowed his announcement of a 300M$ investment in rail lines in the Gaspésie region, which they say will protect 300 jobs and create more in the future.

Categories: Politics

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