• John Jantak

Vaudreuil-Dorion will hold referendum regarding new mosque


Following a register in which residents voted against allowing a new mosque to be built at the former Sunny’s Resto Bar & Grill location in Vaudreuil-Dorion, the matter will now be decided by referendum.

Vaudreuil-Dorion residents who live in an area where a new mosque is planned will be able to officially vote for or against the project in a referendum that will be held by the city to determine whether the project will proceed or be scrapped. The register to hold a referendum was held last Thursday and garnered 157 signatures.

Democratic process

“I’m not surprised but like I told a lot of people it’s part of the democratic process,” Mayor Guy Pilon told The Journal. “We’re now going to the next step which is to hold the referendum.”

“Right now the people who voted to be in the actual referendum voted against the project. What you don’t hear about is from people who support it. If the promoter decides to continue with it, it will continue. If he decides to stop the project now, we’ll stop it. It’s really a democratic way for our citizens to be included in the process,” said Pilon.

The mayor said it reflects negatively on the city that there are people who are opposed to the mosque project. He added that the same is true whenever a new school is built or other types of community organizations are set up in different parts of the city, such as the residents who opposed the Maison de la Famille when it was first proposed to open in their neighbourhood.

Not in my backyard

“People are told a lot of things and they oppose projects for many reasons. Some people think there will be too much traffic, other people are afraid of the noise. At the end of the day, when we go to the next step which is having the referendum, we’ll know which people are opposed and those who support the project,” Pilon continued.

“At this point it will be very clear. If it’s no, it’s no and that’s it. We’ll close the subject regarding this building. At the end of the day it’s all about people not wanting something in their backyard. They’re not opposed to a project but they don’t want it to be built near them. People support new schools as long as they’re not built where they live because it will disrupt their lives, tranquility or whatever,” said Pilon.

Outdoor flags and loudspeakers banned

The Centre Culturel Islamique de Vaudreuil-Soulanges which is currently located on Harwood Blvd has been hoping to eventually move into the former Sunny’s Bar and Grill at 2400 Rue Saint-Antoine at the corner of Rue Chicoine.

In order to minimize negative feedback from residents about the planned mosque, the city adopted resolutions at a recent council meeting which prohibit religious flags and loudspeakers outside the facility which are traditionally used for the call to prayer.

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