Public Consultation Participants Leave Hall Denouncing the “Bogus Consultation”

Lire cet article en français "Des participants de la consultation publique quittent la salle en dénonçant une “consultation bidon”"

Mme Weber reading her statement. Credit Yanky Pollak

Mme Weber reading her statement. Credit Yanky Pollak

Tonight, May 24, 2016, Outremont held a another public consultation on the revised proposal to ban new places of worship in Outremont. After about half an hour of interventions, a Hasidic lady, Mrs. Malka Weber, was called to the microphone. She read a statement, after which a large number of citizens, Hasidic and non-Hasidic, rose quietly and left the room in protest. Here is the text of the statement:

Good evening Madam Mayor, councillors, ladies and gentlemen:

I am speaking here tonight on behalf of the Hassidic and non-Hassidic citizens of Outremont who are against this bylaw.
We all understand the need for zoning regulations.

However:


Given that: If this bylaw passes, there will be an outright ban on new places of worship in Outremont, which we cannot accept.

Given that: The bylaw should not go forward before determining areas for new places of worship that are appropriate and acceptable to all religious communities;


Given that: This ban contravenes the spirit of the Canadian and Quebec Charters of Rights and Freedoms, the Montreal Declaration on Living Together and the commitments made by the City of Montreal as part of its membership in the Canadian and International Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination;

Given that: You, Madam Mayor, specifically refuse any dialogue or sit-down meetings with concerned constituents, including the diverse religious communities in Outremont who are among those most affected by this bylaw.

Given that: Chantal Séguin of the Borough administration admitted at the first Public Consultation on December 1 that no economic or social impact study was conducted to establish whether we needed the proposed bylaw;

Given that: We have seen that a more successful approach was possible on the Plateau, a borough that has a vision for development and is willing to sit down and consult with its citizens in a calm and judicious fashion;

Given that: You, Madam Mayor, refused to answer crucial questions at the first public consultation and during question period in borough council;

Given that: At the first Public Consultation regarding the ban on places of worship on Bernard & Laurier, some 80% of citizens, from all backgrounds and walks of life, rejected the proposed bylaw; and

Given that: All of their opinions seem to have been blatantly disregarded;

We, citizens of Outremont, hereby notify you that we have no confidence in this process and will not participate in this travesty of the democratic process.

Here is a petition against the ban: Outremont’s arbitrary attitude towards human rights and freedoms

Before the walk-out

Before the walk-out

After the walk-out

After the walk-out



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