Several Orthodox Jewish associations threatened to sue the Legault government in a lawyer letter sent last Friday. They ask the Prime Minister to back down on the ban on gatherings in force in synagogues and other places of worship during this confinement.
The formal notice, as revealed by the Gazette Monday, was sent by the firm Dunton Rainville on behalf of the Council of the Jewish community of Montreal, the Council Jewish Hasidic of Quebec and other Orthodox Jewish organizations.
“Our customers were very surprised by this announcement made without prior consultation and, while the measures they had taken in collaboration with public authorities had shown their effectiveness and allowed places of worship to remain open, they are also very concerned about the serious consequences that can result from the closure of places of worship for more than four weeks ”, it is written in the letter, quoted by the“ Gazette ”.
Places of worship are included in the list of establishments that must close their doors. The sanitary rules currently in force apply to all places of worship, regardless of religion. Unless the confinement period is extended, they will not be able to reopen their doors until February 8.
However, the ban is not a first: these places were among the establishments that were to close their doors during the first confinement, in March.
“In the eyes of the rabbinical authorities of our communities, Prime Minister François Legault’s request to close all places of worship is deemed necessary in order to ensure the well-being of all Quebecers, including that of our communities,” then declared the Hasidic Jewish community in a statement released on March 18.
In the letter delivered to the government on Friday, the lawyers argue that their clients are suffering from “psychological distress” as a result of the confinement, which represents “irreparable harm as well as an unwanted and growing feeling of exclusion and alienation”, he added. relayed the “Gazette”.
According to Alain Picard, public relations officer for the Jewish Hassidic Council of Quebec, negotiations are underway between Quebec and the various religious communities in the province regarding access to places of worship in times of pandemic.