Stop infringing on our religious freedoms

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On August 4th 2020, a Cote St Luc resident by the name of Tania Ascoli Alfonsi recently circulated a petition which among other things seeks to ban the use of residential dwellings for prayer gatherings:
« Permanently, prohibit the use of dwellings in residential zoning to be used for other purposes, in particular but not limited to, places of worship, religious schools and dormitories »

We the Jewish community of Cote St Luc and surrounding areas vehemently disagree with said petition and view this as an attack on the predominantly Jewish community of Cote St Luc for the following reasons:

The contents of the petition are particularly unreasonable, insensitive and impractical given the new pandemic reality that the community must now contend with.

In addition it attempts at skating on a very dangerous and slippery slope which challenges our freedom to practice religion which is a constitutional right.

To elaborate, first from a health perspective in our new Covid environment, it is safer to pray in small spread-out groups, and therefore given the circumstances and the new quotas in synagogues, there should be no issue with prayers in individual homes or gardens. Further, Canadian law allows for Freedom of religion and is a constitutionally protected right, allowing believers the freedom to assemble and worship without limitation or interference. Given the new Covid pandemic, this is by the far the safest way to congregate and the Jewish community is doing so with public safety in mind. This petition is merely an attempt to curtail the Jewish community from congregating in small groups and any attempt to do so will be vehemently protested as a violation of our constitutional rights.