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Canadian Township Council Criticized for Barring Jews from Erecting New Synagogue

Severe criticism against the York Township Council for refusing to grant permission for the erection of a new synagogue was voiced in the Toronto Globe and Mail, leading Canadian newspaper. The article emphasized that “any municipal law which limits the right to build religious institutions curbs religious freedom.”

“The status of religion must have sunk very low if a municipal council can barefacedly refuse to grant permission for the building of a synagogue under the pretense that it will lead to a loss in taxes,” the article says. “Had the request been made by a non-Jewish congregation we doubt very much if the same excuse would have prevailed. No matter the protestations it is very hard to believe that the Council was not influenced by racial and religious prejudice.”

A similar incident occurred a few years ago in the city of Quebec where the municipal council waged a stubborn fight to keep the Jewish community from building a new synagogue. Anti-Semitic elements even made an attempt to burn down the structure, but the opposition was finally defeated.