Public Consultation in Outremont: Peace or Intolerance?

Lire cet article en français "Consultation publique à Outremont: paix ou intolérance?"

A sukkah in Outremont

A sukkah in Outremont

This article was originally posted by Christian Aubry on his blog Republished with permission.

With his typical verve, the smiling Pierre Lacerte calls on his blog readers to mobilize on October 29 at the Outremont public consultation to discuss the proposed change to the zoning bylaw regarding sukkas. These temporary religious huts are erected each year in our neighbourhood (and others) during the festival of Sukkot. I took the initiative to submit this comment on Lacerte’s blog and I call on all Outremonters and Montrealers who oppose the intolerant attitude of Mr. Lacerte to do the same.

Mr. Lacerte (slightly less contemptuous than “Pollack”!), you may be a good writer but you’re an even more incorrigible sophist who puts his talents to a dubious cause.

  1. Your choice of sukkot photographs is suspiciously curated. For example, you did not photograph my neighbour’s sukkot nor others equally well put together and maintained, such that one can easily find throughout neighbourhoods in Montreal, Jerusalem or Paris.
  2. Nobody (not even Mindy Pollak!) wants to propose regulations that put the public or the environment at risk. Yet the sole incident you can find to typify the supposed danger created by sukkahs is a fire that happened across the street from my house last January which was caused by a candle. Written, of course, in the conditional (which suits your yellow journalism well) as it had nothing to do with the holiday of Sukkot.

I would think that a journalism based less on hatred and more on reason would have led you to discuss the other fire last winter in Montreal. “The Christmas tree was too close to the fireplace,” the fireman said. Perhaps they should have instead bought something that was, to quote you, “lego-style made of plastic, light, easy to assemble, rot-resistant, reusable forever, etc.” Can you hardly imagine an atheist, let alone a practicing Christian, buying something so horrid?

You reserve for yourself alone the right to declare whether something is beautiful or ugly. No wonder it is hard for you to understand somebody like Mindy Pollak. Your ethnocentric, intolerant and mob mentality would easily find somebody like her difficult to fathom.

I would like to draw your attention to the question posed by my wife at the last borough council. She asked where is the injury and harm posed by the sukkahs in Outremont. I added that there is no regulation or bylaw against them in the Plateau, while in NDG sukkahs have a period of grace of 7 days before and after the holiday (see PDF).

May I remind you the context for the consultation of October 29? Contrary to your propaganda, Mindy Pollak is not responsible for filing the notice of motion out of a kind of revenge. Rather, she proposed the change to address the fact that the current bylaw is not enforceable (“15 days” but without specific before and after parameters). The motion she filed is a sensible one, echoing the approach of Côtes-des-Neiges rather than the Plateau. That this motion is acceptable to the community was evident in the testimony given at borough council.

The adoption of this motion would, I believe, reflect a broad consensus and save us from another skirmish. This is in contrast to the regulations proposed by Councilor Céline Forget, whose “3 days before and 3 days after” is simply petty. It is yet another slap to the Hasidic community. One wonders if her long term goal isn’t to have them leave “her” borough entirely.

You can count on me, Mr Lacerte, and I am sure many other residents both Hasidic and non-Hasidic, to denounce this latest intolerant drivel that, true to form, stops just shy of revealing its true ugliness. If it succeeds, Outremont will surely go down in history as Montreal’s most intolerant borough. Is this something you look forward to, Mr Lacerte? Is this what you will be harassing us with the next time you go door to door campaigning for yourself?


See also Sukkahs in Outremont: A Peek Inside – Photo Gallery

12 comments (6 comments in English, 6 comments in French)

Pour lire ou poster un commentaires en français allez à "Consultation publique à Outremont: paix ou intolérance?"

Please Note: Comments on each post match the posts language so that the conversation flows smoothly.

  1. Aaron Binet
    October 21, 2014

    Beside the deceitful way Lacerte posted the photograph of the burnt home, he illegally curated it from another website and removed their watermark w/o giving them any credit. Which is ILLEGAL according to Canadian and International copyright laws.

    He is former journalist! Go talk about the “ignoring the law”, an accusation he constantly slings at Hassidic community. I guess from his perceptive laws exist only to repress Hassidim.

    The photograph he stole from here:

  2. Gordon Martin
    October 22, 2014

    Well expressed Aaron! I had hoped that M Lacerte had found some positive things to do with his spare time. Alas, he continues with his rant which appears to be nothing but utter prejudice. Perhaps he could comment on the Christian churches who’s bells ring out when people want to sleep late on Sunday morning (<;. Get a life Pierre!

  3. I. B.A.
    October 22, 2014

    After 30 years as a past resident and homeowner in Outremont I sold my house and moved to cote st. Luc. We recently enjoyed the Joyous festival of sukkot for the first time outside Outremont,
    I no longer get to read the Journal d’Outremont which had weekly articles about the battles between Jews and Quebecois, whether it was about Rosenberg or Synagogue extensions. Here the Suburban addresses issues which concern all citizens.
    My neighbours all welcomed us and are friends now, while in Outremont my neighbour called the Securite Publique and reported me for mowing my lawn on Sunday. Parking is permitted overnight on the Friday night and Jewish holidays. All Holidays Christian and other religions are celebrated with City Participation.
    Thank G-d there is no Lacerte here, Fellow Jews of Outremont, life is too short and time to end the fighting, leave Outremont for Lacerte and his friends, move to Cote St. Luc.

  4. Zahava
    October 22, 2014

    Lucky you I.B.A. but thats what lacerte wants, we should move out we have to show him that no we will stay and try in a peaceful way to resolve this and we will!

    • Aaron Binet
      October 22, 2014

      If hassidim move, it wont end there, Lacerte and Forget will then take to the Anglophone “problem” of Outremont. Xenophobes despise ANYBODY thats different than them… “les autre”… just see how Hassidim and Anglos are lumped together in first comment on Forget’s website (which she obviously approved) here:

  5. I.B.A.
    October 22, 2014

    You are 100% correct Lacerte and Forget will choose other groups to attack if you leave. All I am saying, why waste your precious time fighting when there are more important things in life like family and friends and the enjoyment of your religion. This is very easy where I live now in CSL in a milieu, neighbours and elected officials, which approves and supports you. Here they realize that the presence of Synagogues are not a threat or negative elements and are a necessity for the population.