Voici la lettre qu'un citoyen du Plateau a fait parvenir au journal The Gazette à la suite de l'article de Jeff Heinrich publié le 9 septembre 2008 et intitulé Run-down synagogue wants to grow .
As a resident of Mile End (next to Outremont) I read with interest Jeff Heinrich's article about the proposed Hassidic synagogue expansion. I pity residents who find themselves living near one of these Hassidic synagogues: they are invariably on otherwise quiet residential streets, they are unkept, in violation of municipal bylaws, and they are noisy year-round and late into the night.
It is disingenuous for Bobov sect Moshe Englander to claim that his community is not growing. To anyone who can count, it should be clear that the numbers of these religious zealots are expanding rapidly: look at the number of children they have.
Heinrich quotes a resident of Outremont, Pierre Lacerte, describing him as an "anti-Hasidim campaigner ...who is fighting a court battle over alleged harassment of a separate congregation of Hasidim". I have followed Mr. Lacerte's blog and his activities for a while. There are Hassids that want him to stop focusing on Outremont's legal laxness and favouritism and their violations of bylaws (especially parking and building) in the borough. Lacerte's misfortune of having a synagogue across form his house puts him in this situation. A prominent member of the Belzer synagogue, Michael Rosenberg, says that if Lacerte shuts down his blog and stops denouncing their abuses, he will drop charges against Lacerte. This is none other than a SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation, where legal action tries to silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their public opposition.