19 voters quash Muslim-run cemetery in Saint-Apollinaire, Que.
Monday - 17/07/2017 09:11
Count shows 19 votes against, 16 votes in favour after petition forced referendum on rezoning
Residents of Saint-Apollinaire, Que., voted against a proposed Muslim-run cemetery in their town Sunday.
The referendum saw 36 people vote on whether a zoning change would be allowed so that a new cemetery could exist in a wooded area on the outskirts the town.
The final tally showed 19 votes were against the project, 16 votes in favour and one rejected ballot.
Only 49 people in the 6,400-person town, located 35 kilometres southwest of Quebec City, were able to vote in the referendum because they lived in the vicinity of the proposed site and had registered to vote.
Seventy people were eligible to register.
The citizen-led referendum was forced when 40 people signed a petition against the project in April.
Opponents went door-to-door
Opponents to the project went door-to-door gathering signatures in the spring to force a referendum on the zoning change.
One of those opponents was Sunny Létourneau, a member of a group called the association for alternatives.
She is in favour of non-denominational cemeteries, and says she is equally opposed to cemeteries designated for Catholics, which are common across the province.
"We need cemeteries that welcome everybody, no matter their religion, where they're from, their skin colour, their culture. You have to think about that because in 20 years it's going to be a problem," she said.