The citizens of Saint-Apollinaire say no to the muslim cemetery

  • PHOTO DIDIER DEBUSSCHERE

    Dominique Lelièvre

    Sunday, 16 July 2017 20:18

    UPDATE
    Sunday, 16 July 2017 20:30

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    The proposed muslim cemetery of Saint-Apollinaire was rejected by the citizens qualified to vote in a referendum is very tight.

    19 people were opposed to the project of the funerary complex Harmonia, and the islamic cultural Centre of Quebec, while 16 were supported. In total, 49 citizens were called to vote.

    Only people owning property near the site proposed could take part in the consultation under the referendum Act.

    The project involved the construction of a cemetery of 60, 000 square feet reserved for the muslim community on Laurier street, near highway 20. The opponents advocated instead for a cemetery is multi-faith.

    A zoning change was necessary to allow the burial on this field.

    Citizens divided

    The nervousness was at its peak at the multifunctional centre of the municipality, where the voting will take place from 10am to 20pm. If the delicate question of a muslim cemetery and has put back a number of citizens, all seemed united behind the desire to turn the page on this episode that will leave marks.

    “We are disappointed to be here”, expressed, moreover, Henry Barrel, who lives in the place for 30 years. “It’s going to break a lot of friendships that we had before. All of a sudden, it’s going to be a cold for a while. And that, I regret that,” lamented his wife Solange Letourneau.

    The couple has seen the camps of “yes” and the camps of the “non” in their residence, these last few weeks.

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    The handful of citizens who were entitled to vote had to carry the burden of a debate that has been largely the municipality of 6000 inhabitants, in a context of post-attack on Quebec, and while the question of identity is still far from being resolved at the scale of the province.

    — With the collaboration of Elisa Cloutier

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