Referendum on the establishment of a muslim cemetery: the mayor of Saint-Apollinaire wants to move on to something else

News 17 July, 2017
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    Bernard Ouellet.

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    Monday, 17 July, 2017 08:08

    Monday, 17 July, 2017 08:08

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    The mayor of Saint-Apollinaire, where citizens have blocked the establishment of a muslim cemetery in a referendum, believes that the debate is now ended, at least in its municipality.

    “I’m going to let it go. Our part is made. In Saint-Apollinaire, we will try to move on to something else, stated in an interview to the Quebec Morning the mayor Bernard Ouellet. It’s going to serve us as experience, but you can’t do much in this case, in our municipality.”

    On the 6000 citizens of the municipality, 49 were called to vote on the establishment of the cemetery. 19 voted against the project of a funerary complex Harmonia, and the islamic cultural Centre of Québec (CCIQ), and 16 were supported. A vote was rejected.

    “The municipal council of Saint-Apollinaire is a little disappointed, and me too. However, we accept democracy,” said the mayor Ouellet.

    Only the citizens located within the area adjoining the place projected were called upon to pronounce. As the land is located in an industrial area, few people could vote, ” said Mr. Ouellet.

    The atmosphere in the municipality was affected by the debate, recognizes the mayor.

    “For us, it is quite difficult. It is a small municipality, it is not used to it. For the citizens who are in the area concerned, it has not been “fun” too much, too. They have been contacted a lot by the camp of the No, the Yes. It was a three or four months are pretty intense, and quite difficult.”

    Wider debate

    If the question touched her, in theory, only a few citizens, the debate has become more extended.

    “It was for a cemetery, but the debate went deeper than that. If it had been to a cemetery just short, in principle, there would have been no problem,” said the mayor. “For us, Saint-Apollinaire, our effort is done. I think that everything that was in our power was done. However, it took a national debate on it. There are going to be challenged to do, that’s for sure.”

    And despite the tensions, Mr. Ouellet also applaud the manner in which the debate took place.

    “If I take the last few months, it was still very respectful. There has been no war here or the people who “get stuck”. It was discussed, but it was well done. It has created cold between some people, but it was still respectful.”