New advisor Weiser works to bring communities together

Ruby pratka
[email protected]
Journalist Local Journalism Initiative

David Weiser has dedicated the last five years of his life to bringing people together. In 2018, as the city marked the first anniversary of the shooting at the Islamic Cultural Center of Quebec and mourned the victims of a similarly disturbing attack on a synagogue in Pittsburgh, he co-founded the interfaith group Unity Quebec. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, he worked with community organizations on the SOS Ensemble Québec initiative, coordinating food aid.

“I was fortunate enough to discover, relatively late in life, how amazing it is to contribute to the community,” said Weiser, originally from Quebec.
who worked in the video game industry and was president of the Anglophone Jewish congregation Beth Israel Ohev Sholom.

On November 7, under the banner of the Marie Josée Savard Team, Weiser was elected municipal councilor for the Plateau district. On November 17, Mayor Bruno Marchand appointed him to the executive committee as an associate member responsible for immigration, cultural communities and relations with the English-speaking community. He said he was delighted to be working on files that reflect “why [he] entered politics.

“The [Labeaume] The administration has really developed a whole approach to diversity, and I would like to make sure that the current administration continues in this vein with projects like Maison Pollack. I would also like to sit with [city diversity consultant] Irena Harris and plan for next year and then for the next four years, ”Weiser said. He also intends to contact the Voix du Québec anglophone, the Morrin Center and the parties involved in the English “superschool” project to “determine what we can do to ensure [anglophones] feel part of the Quebec community.

“Part of the process is meeting with community organizations, trying to understand the terrain, starting conversations with individual citizens and connecting with as many people as possible,” he said. “The other thing is to organize events for the general public and invite
people from different cultural communities. If you are presenting something as an intercultural event, only people who are already interested in cultural diversity will come. Weiser recalled that when he volunteered to distribute food at the start of the pandemic, volunteers from the Muslim community were working alongside volunteers who had never met a Muslim. “There were people there who had never spoken to a woman who wore a hijab; at first they were worried and now they’re best friends, ”he recalls. “When people have a common goal, they come together. “

Weiser’s neighborhood, Le Plateau, is one of the most diverse in the city. According to 2016 census data, almost 17% of residents were born outside of Canada.

The neighborhood is increasingly representative of Quebec City as a whole. “The city has changed; it’s not Asterix Village anymore, and I think people are realizing that, ”Weiser said. The municipal election campaign itself, with multiple parties fielding candidates from religious and ethnic minorities, was “a victory at all levels” for the visibility of diversity in the city.

“Mayor Marchand mentioned in his [inaugural] speech that he attached a lot of importance to living together, ”added Weiser. “Living together means making people participate together in our society. I can’t wait to see what it will look like.

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