Copeman ejects Searle

Councillor refuses, police called

By Joel Ceausu

Jeremy Searle’s contribution to Monday night’s council meeting began as a simple plea for support of Montreal’s homeless.

But within minutes he was being threatened with forceful removal, after a series of laconic and slowly spoken comments, followed by a stroll across the dais to kiss Côte des Neiges councillor Magda Popeanu on the cheek.

Borough Mayor Russell Copeman was visibly perturbed by the independent Loyola councillor’s behaviour and abruptly halted proceedings, leaving the room with council colleagues to gather off the hallway for several minutes.

When they returned, he spoke to Searle, reiterating what he said he asked him in private: to leave the meeting because he “broke decorum” by allegedly being under the influence of alcohol and “crossing the stage and coming into contact with Ms. Popeanu.”

“It’s not your god-damned business,” Searle replied, taunting Copeman with insults.
Copeman asked Searle politely and directly to leave or he would be escorted out, but Searle contended that he did not have the authority to do so and refused. Darlington councillor Lionel Perez supported Copeman’s position: “He was out of line,” he said. “He has to go.”

Copeman again suspended the meeting as a local police commander called in a pair of police officers who entered the council room and stood near the entrance. Searle still refused to step away.
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