In the midst of a pandemic, the police had to intervene on Saturday evening, when nearly 1,000 people were gathered near a synagogue of the Orthodox Jewish community of Boisbriand, declared a red zone.
One person was arrested for assaulting a peace officer and 16 contracts of offense were awarded under the Public Health Act. An investigation has been opened and more tickets could be issued in the coming days.
According to our information, some people did not wear face coverings and physical distancing was not respected everywhere.
These are citizens who alerted the police, worried at the sight of a long line of cars at the entrance to the community, early Saturday evening.
Several people then converged on a synagogue in the community to participate in a religious ceremony.
Faced with the size of the crowd, the Régie intermunicipale de police Thérèse-De Blainville called on the Sûreté du Québec to intervene.
When they arrived at around 7 p.m., the police quickly noticed that the capacity of the room, which is 25 people in places of worship in the red zone, was exceeded. About 400 people were there. Barely half an hour later, the National Directorate of Public Health issued an order to stop this activity.
By this time, the religious ceremony had moved outside and about 1,000 people attended, according to estimates by the Intermunicipal Board.
The mayoress outraged
The mayoress of Boisbriand described this event as unacceptable on Tuesday morning.
“I am disappointed and unhappy with what happened in the Jewish community over the weekend. […] Since the start of the pandemic, we have been working and we continue to work in close collaboration with the Public Health of the Laurentians and the Régie intermunicipale de police Thérèse-De Blainville which are, I remind you, prime contractors in this file. From a municipal point of view, rest assured that we will intensify our communications, especially with community leaders, so that information circulates among all members of the community and that health measures are respected by all, and in all time, ”commented Marlene Cordato.
This isn’t the first time Orthodox Jewess Tosh de Boisbriand, estimated at around 4,000, has made headlines in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic. Last March, the Laurentian Public Health Department confined the community following screenings. A month later, a demonstration by some 200 Orthodox Jews to protest the lockdown forced police to intervene and open an investigation.