Hasidic Jews were indeed in violation of allowing gatherings in each of their synagogue halls, Public Health confirmed after some confusion following police interventions.
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In an email sent to the Council of Hasidic Jews of Quebec on Monday and obtained by the QMI Agency, the director of public health of Montreal, Mylène Drouin, apologizes to them for “the back and forth of the last 48 hours” regarding the rules in place.
Simultaneous gatherings of 10 people in different rooms with independent entrances, but in the same building, are not allowed under the provincial rules in force, she ruled.
However, this is the opposite of what his deputy, the medical chief in the urban environment and healthy lifestyles department of public health, David Kaiser, had indicated the day before. Also by email, the latter had indicated that several rooms in the same building could accommodate 10 people simultaneously, provided they all have an independent entrance.
- Listen to the interview of the president of the Unified Sephardic Community of Quebec Jacques Saada with Benoit Dutrizac on QUB Radio:
A spokesperson for the Council of Hasidic Jews of Quebec, André Picard, said he was “confused” about the rules in force. The organization still intends to ask its members to comply with public health directives.
“We are in good faith, as we have said. When our people comment on an error like Friday night, we ask them to fall into line, to respect the rules, but the rules keep changing, ”lamented André Picard.
This public health about-face comes after a weekend marked by several police interventions in synagogues in Outremont, including one during which a hundred members of the Hasidic Jewish community “charged” the police and even made them. treaties of “Nazis”.
A situation that is simply “unacceptable”, according to Sylvain Caron, director of the Police Department of the City of Montreal (SPVM).
“This is unacceptable, we cannot tolerate acts of this nature. The government decree on sanitary rules applies to everyone regardless of origins. We all have an effort to make in this historic moment, ”he said in an interview with LCN on Monday.
The SPVM issued 15 statements of offenses for illegal indoor gatherings during its weekend interventions in places of worship in the Outremont district where many Hasidic Jews live.
Figures obtained by TVA Nouvelles also show that the police have identified 300 people who will be the subject of a general offense report.
In addition, two individuals were arrested following interventions by the SPVM; one for obstructing the work of a peace officer and the other for uttering threats.
An investigation was also opened for assaulting a police officer.