Groups To Take Zoning Flap To High Court
MONTREAL — A chassidic group says it will go to the Supreme Court of Canada after the Quebec Court of Appeal ruled that it is violating the Laurentian village of Val Morin’s zoning bylaws.
In a dispute dating back some 25 years, the Belzer community has maintained that it is within its rights to use two houses as a synagogue and a school within the enclave where its members spend their summers.
The municipality says the area is zoned for residential use only, and that position was upheld by Quebec Superior Court in 2005.
The Court of Appeal found that the bylaws do not contravene the community’s freedom of religion, since the zoning regulations permit the establishment of places of worship in the neighbouring zone.
If given leave to appeal, the Belzers lawyer Julius Grey said his argument before the highest court of the land will be “based in part of the freedom of conscience and in part on the duty to act fairly.”
WINNIPEG — A 22-year-old protester who likened the Israeli-born mayor of Winnipeg to Hitler during a protest last month says he plans to write Sam Katz a letter of apology. At a March 26 protest at city hall against the privatization of city services, Steve Mack carried a placard with four images of Katz dressed in a German military cap and a moustache. Katz, whose parents survived Nazi concentration camps, said he was disgusted by the placard. Mack told the Winnipeg Sun that he’s not anti-Semitic and meant no harm, and that he regrets “casting a shadow” over the protest. “It wasn’t supposed to be Hitler, but I can see how that connotation could be concerived. I am very ashamed of that,” he said, adding that he called Katz’s office and apologized to his staff, and that he will also send the mayor a letter. Organizers said Mack hadn’t been invited to the protest.
TORONTO — A Jewish woman who lost relatives in the Shoah said she and her family will likely move out of their North York apartment after six swastikas were found in a stairwell by their unit. Marina Hirsch told the National Post that the swastikas, found on a Shabbat late last month, were meant for her family to see, as they only use stairs on Saturdays. The words “CCCP” and “We will win” were found nearby. The family has lived in the building at Bathurst Street and Steeles Avenue for about 18 months. Hirsch said that as its only visibly Orthodox family, they’ve been targeted before: their car was vandalized and the mezuzah was ripped from their door.