Hampstead anti-noise measures attract critics
Published Thursday, September 29, 2011 6:30PM EDT
MONTREAL - A recent amendment to Hampstead's noise bylaw has been making a lot of noise among some critics.
The new rules forbid excessive noise on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur in the independent town of under two square kilometers in the west side of Montreal where over 80 percent of the 8,000 residents are of the Jewish faith.
Resident Fred Chano is among the critics of the measure.
"It's about them dictating to you when you can work or not work and we're talking about cutting grass. We're not talking about making noise, machinery, heavy equipment," said Chano. "If everyone starts dictating when we can work because it's their holiday or when we can eat because it's something else, where's it going to end?" he asked.
But the Hampstead municipal administration is standing by its rule.
"The purpose of the by-law is really to maintain a quiet atmosphere on holidays and that's not just Jewish holidays it includes every other legally prescribed holiday," said Andrew Ross, Communications Director.
They say that they intervened with Chano not because of noise but rather, because, they say, he does not have legal permits to do the work he is attempting to undertake.
On Thursday they issued a stop work order to the Queen Mary Blvd. resident.
One religion professor thinks that it shouldn't be as big a deal as it has become.
"I think that sometimes in our debates in Quebec we focus too much on religion. When it's about religion suddenly it becomes intolerable," said Solange Lefebvre, religion professor.
"If the majority of people in an area are a certain way and do certain things it's a little bit respectful," said resident Robert Miller.