Letter to the editor 3, Oct. 15, 2020
Objections from the ‘locals’
Along with the huge population growth in Vaudreuil-Dorion, one of the highest in Canada, comes an increase in members of diverse communities such as the Islamic one. Seeking a larger place to worship they are looking at the long defunct Sunny's Resto Bar on Chemin Saint-Antoine. Again, as was the case when there was the plan to add a Muslim section to the nearby Catholic cemetery, there are strong objections from the ‘locals.’
I know that semi-rural area well. It was along my commute-to-work route for decades. There are, in fact, few residences nearby; none within a stone's throw for certain. Heck, perhaps only a half dozen houses are within a rifle shoot. Looking up 2400 Saint-Antoine on Google maps will reveal that. And yet there are 500 or more signatories on a petition objecting to that move citing issues of traffic and noise. I suspect one of the names might be of the woman who lives directly across the road from that cemetery, the one that I would see using a leaf blower at 7 a.m. on a Sunday to clean the dust off her driveway in preparation of the day's visitors.
In Sunny’s heyday, when the Quane family heart was still into running it properly, the parking lot would be full with mostly tradesman's vehicles every Thursday (the traditional payday) afternoon. Late in the afternoon, when there came the realization that they had to get home to their families with what was left of their pay, all those trucks would be roaring out of there looking like the start of a race at Le Mans.
That never seemed to bother anyone living around there. On Saturday nights the parking lot would be full of Purple Honda Civics and lime green Integras with exhaust pipes that looked more suitable for 18-wheelers.
At closing time the well lubricated, (the drivers for certain, the cars maybe) would head out to practice their drag racing and/or drifting skills on Saint- Antoine or the section of Chicoine Street just west of it. In the following mornings the long black lines on the pavement were evidence of a busy night. That also seemed never to bother the locals.
I suspect what is bothering them is the skeleton that Premier François Legault denies existing in Quebec's closet. Well, if you use only the exact wording ‘Systemic Racism’ he may be partially correct. If you changed it to ‘Systemic Bigotry’ he would have to concede. Prejudice towards Des Autres transcends race. Any non-white, French (mother tongue please) speaking non-Catholic is subject to it.
To allay the worst objections the town's administration made certain that the mosque would be barred from having outside loudspeakers or religious flags, something the mosque's organizers never even had planned to do. And I think I read that they also promised not to do any wife stoning or ritual human sacrifices there as well... at least not outside. So it all should be good, no?
By the way – I suspect the installation of the new school on Chicione will be adding considerably more noise and traffic closer to the residences, yet there is nary a peep of objection to be heard.