The social media ire prompted by a weird video taken at Saturday's St. Jean parade may have been premature, parade organizers told CTV Montreal. But this year, along with the usual accusations that the holiday feeds separatist politics in the province, many people are focused on a float in the Montreal parade that some are calling racist because it allegedly depicts blacks as slaves.
However, representatives at the committee for La Fete Nationale say that the incident is being misinterpreted and blown out of proportion, and that organizers put in a lot of effort to ensure that these events are inclusive and diverse.
However, organisers were quick to defend the parade and assured critics that unfortunate images, which have now gone viral, were nothing more than a coincidence. It has been shared at least 5,000 times in three hours.
"What's important to say is that [regarding] the entirety of the parade-we have never put in as much effort as we did to represent Quebec's diversity in the context of la Fete Nationale", Laporte explained over the phone.
The video posted to Facebook has been viewed nearly two million times
A video of four minority ethnic teenagers pushing a heavy parade float alongside an all-white choir has sparked debate in Canada about racial equality. Page organizers later posted, by way of clarification, that all the parade's floats were being pushed by members of a Montreal school's sports team, then later deleted the video.
The president told CTV the students were volunteers from a local high school's athletic team and had opted to take part in the festival's eco-friendly initiative to use manpower to push the floats.
Laporte says that the committee did not select volunteers based on their ethnicity. All the people on the floats are white. What was the message the city wanted to send to Montrealers in organizing this parade? "If we didn't want to be there, we wouldn't have been there".