The mayor of Outremont ned to have capitulated on the subject of the synagogue

Le maire d'Outremont nie avoir capitulé au sujet de la synagogue

Photo: Valérian Mazataud The Duty
The spokesman for the hasidic jewish community of Outremont, Abraham Ekstein, judge unacceptable the regulation prohibiting the construction of new places of worship on the commercial streets.

In the aftermath of the tumultuous assembly of the council of the borough, the mayor of Outremont said to understand that citizens are frustrated not the decision of elected officials to authorize a synagogue on Bernard avenue. But Philipe Tomlinson defends himself for giving in too quickly before the legal proceedings brought by the owner of the building.

“I understand those who say that you should not let go and go until the end. But it is necessary that we listen to the experts, ” he said during a telephone interview Tuesday. “The legal department is just there to protect the citizens. We have full confidence in their ability to guide us. “

It is on the recommendation of the lawyers of the City that the district has endorsed an amicable agreement which allows the owner to Place Bernard, Michael Rosenberg, to organize a synagogue in the 1250-1270, Bernard avenue, and this, despite the regulation prohibiting places of worship on this artery to be adopted in 2016 and approved by the citizens by way of referendum.

According to Philipe Tomlinson, the decision to allow this synagogue has nothing to do with the referendum, since the permit application for expansion of Michael Rosenberg has been filed a few hours prior to the filing of a notice of motion to amend the zoning by-law.

Two legal opinions on the conformity of the file, however, proven to be contradictory, but Mr Tomlinson believes that it is the litigation of the City — which considered having a trial is risky — you need to consider. The outside lawyer who drafted the notice was not given access to all documents, he argues.


Still, this episode did nothing to calm the tensions between the hasidic jews and their neighbors. “In recent years, there has been mistrust, which has led to conflicts and actions, non-regulatory,” says Philipe Tomlinson. “It is in this wheel for several years, in Outremont. This is why it is absolutely necessary to break. It is necessary to leave on new bases, but it will not happen overnight. “

At the meeting Monday night, citizens have suggested that they could challenge the agreement in court. “It is their right,” admitted Philip Tomlinson.

“When it is said that the borough goes against the referendum, it is an example of so-called fake news to Trump. This is not true, ” said for his part Abraham Ekstein, a spokesman for the hasidic jewish community of Outremont. “The permit application has been filed prior to the entry into force of the regulation. “

According to him, the amicable agreement is a bargaining model that has enabled them to resolve a delicate situation, and that is beneficial to everyone : “I deplore the fact that people do of this agreement in good faith as a tool to continue the polarization of our neighborhood. “

Abraham Ekstein noted that the jewish community still recovering in the question of the referendum held in 2016 to endorse the prohibition of places of worship on the commercial streets. “We have never accepted the outcome of the referendum. For us, the act of the majority, it is the law of the jungle “, he explained. “We are in a democratic society. It should not be a governance by majority only. It is a governance by the majority, but with important protections for all minorities. “

Philipe Tomlinson was surprised at this declaration. “It’s weird. There seems to be nothing to challenge. The result [of the referendum] was pretty clear and everyone must respect it “, he commented.