Val-Morin, Quebec, Canada – Belz Hasidic Community Lose Last Court Battle over Zoning Laws at Summer Camp

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    Val-Morin, Quebec, Canada – A Jewish community has taken a Laurentian village to the Supreme Court of Canada to fight town zoning bylaws that would force the community to stop using two of its cottages for a synagogue and school.

    The buildings that house the Hasidic congregation’s place of worship and the school in Val-Morin, Que., are about 90 kilometres northwest of Montreal, and are on land currently zoned for residential use.

    In April, the Quebec Court of Appeal upheld a Quebec Superior Court decision that sided with the town, stating the bylaw is clear and the buildings do not conform to local zoning regulations.

    The village also said the Hasidic community lied about the cottages’ purposes when it applied for permits.

    Still, the group’s lawyer said the case is a question of rights and that argument should not be considered in the ruling.
    “Suppose that is so, does that deprive you of a chartered right?” Julius Grey said. “Is the fact that you didn’t tell the truth a complete bar to relief?”

    For more than 20 years, members of the Montreal-based Hasidic community have travelled to Val-Morin each summer for vacation.
    Around 40 or 50 families usually spend eight weeks at the camp.

    Val-Morin Mayor Jacques Brien said the village has spent more than $100,000 in legal fees fighting the case, and estimates the Hasidic community has shelled out a comparable amount.

    Brien said locals who live close to the synagogue and school have complained about added traffic and noise in the area.

    He said places of worship and educational facilities are only permitted in areas zoned for institutional use.

    “It’s not that the municipality doesn’t want them to have it, it’s simply just that it must be done in the right place,” Brien said. “It’s a question of justice and fairness.”

    The mayor said the congregation also owns almost 175,000 square metres of property zoned for institutional purposes less than a kilometre from the disputed land.
    “If they asked me tomorrow for a construction permit to build a synagogue on this property, we would have to give it them and it would be our pleasure,” he said at that time.

    The president of the Congregation of the Followers of the Rabbis of Belz said the families had no choice but to move ahead in the courts.
    “Otherwise we have no where else to go,” Jacob Binet said.
    “It’s the only reasonable space we have to run our affairs. They should accommodate us.”

    Now the Supreme Court has decided NOT to hear an appeal, and the mayor said he’s relieved the supreme court sees things his way.

    “It’s too bad because they could easily fix the problem, but they decided to take another route,” he said.

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    6 COMMENTS

    1. The Belzers just like most other Hassidic and Orthodox groups somehow have this sense of entitlement and the ends justify the means.. One thing is obvious and I have seen this so often: Hassidim do not care one iota about Hillul Hashem.
      They are nice to people outside their group as long as they can either get money from you ar they can derive some other benefit. Otherwise, you are just like a goy to them. There will be people who will post all sorts of comments challenging this statement but in reality the truth is well known

      • In some (unfortunately) [Jewish] people’s eyes, Chassidim are some kind of [an] animal! Why, Hundreds of Thousands of cases are litigated. Some are won, some are lost. That, does not reflect on the litigants. In this case, however, because it involves Chassidim, right away all the disconcerted and disappointed individuals come out (from wherever they’re hiding) to vent all their frustrations on a group of people who went to court believing they have a point [of contention! The Court/s disagreed! So, what! They will abide by the Court order. And life goes on! Do you (when attacking an entire group) speak of [personal] knowledge of the facts?! Were you there, in that village?! Do you know the circumstances of the dispute???!!! If you do, speak up. Otherwise, do the opposite !!!!!!!

        • their lawyer virtually admitted they lied, what do they expect. a waste of money and time, it is a residential zoning, not for schools, church, yeshivas.

          They should be made to pay back all the legal expenses of the town.

          They know no shame, I am afraid

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