Muslim community and Quebec politicians mull real estate idea
Published Tuesday, November 15, 2016 5:22PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, November 15, 2016 7:27PM EST
A real estate development idea for the Muslim community has received considerable reaction from Quebec politicians, but Muslim leaders say it is blown out of proportion.
Tax accountant Nabil Warda is proposing a South Shore development where low-income Muslim families could buy homes.
It would involve a large plot of land - not yet purchased - somewhere near Brossard, and could house upwards of 40 families.
Warda said it would help families who wouldn't otherwise be able to purchase homes and that he sees the development as a way to help people stay connected to their community.
Several Quebec politicians reacted to the idea Tuesday after they saw it in the media.
Health Minister Gaetan Barrette, who is responsible for the riding, said it is only a two-page document with nothing to it right now, but others had stronger opinions.
“We see that in society… members of communities who tend to live in certain areas. Some prefer that, some don't, but we see a mix in society. So are we going to put legislation in places to prohibit that or forbid that? I don't think so,” he said.
Nathalie Roy, CAQ MNA for Montarville, was adamantly against the notion.
“It goes totally against our values and against our laws, because we have to live together, not apart. What they want to do is a ghetto and that's unacceptable. We have to live together,” she said.
Immigration Minister Kathleen Weil agreed with Roy, but had a different take.
“Discrimination goes both ways,” she said. “So to propose a residential area or neighbourhood that would be exclusive to one particular ethnic group would be discriminatory by virtue of our Charter of Rights and I think everyone can see that,” she said.
Premier Philippe Couillard reacted from Morocco, saying it goes against Quebec values.
The Canadian Muslim Forum, along with other Muslim groups, has reacted strongly to the political response to the idea, saying using words like ‘ghetto’ is outrageous.
They say this is one man, proposing one idea, and that because it involves Muslims - and for no other reason, they say – it has been blown out of proportion.
“I'm really so worried about the Trump effect on some, that we may be seeing an increase in extreme points of views with issues that have to do with Muslims… this is what is really creating an alarm. It’s a simple issue, a gentleman that would like to have a development, really offering it to the Muslim community. And by the way, we have a Chinatown, a Little Italy and we don’t see people jumping on their toes over this,” said Samer Majzoub, president of the Canadian Muslim Forum.
The proposal in question will be presented to the Islamic Community Centre in Brossard Friday Evening.