Quebec City mosque approves cemetery purchase near Lévis
$215K investment would mean second Muslim burial ground in Quebec
Members at the Islamic Cultural Centre's general assembly have voted to invest $215,000 in the creation of the Quebec City region's first Muslim cemetery.
Mohamed Labidi, vice-president of the Islamic Cultural Centre, says the general assembly chose between two possible locations: The first one, located in the Quebec City suburb of Ste-Foy, came with a price tag of $1 million, while the other in St-Apolinaire, west of Lévis, was $215,000.
"It would be expensive for the community, that's why we opted for [St-Apolinaire]," explained Labidi.
The community has been working for years to try to establish a cemetery in the region so families don't have to travel to Laval to bury their loved ones.
Currently there are no dedicated burial grounds for Muslims anywhere outside the greater Montreal region.
After years of lobbying, 3,000 plots in the Laval Cemetery were dedicated specifically for Muslim people in 2015.
Quebec City offered to help with tax bill
Quebec City Mayor Régis Labeaume promised to help find a suitable place in the aftermath of mosque shooting that killed six worshippers and wounded 19 others on Jan. 29.
Of the six men who died in the shooting, three were buried in Laval and the others were returned to their country of origins for burial.
"We are working with them to see what they need. We will help them," Labeaume said.
Quebec City offered to help lighten the tax load if the general assembly voted for the Ste-Foy option.
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Now that the assembly has voted to accept the purchase, the actual contracts will be drawn up and the administrative details arranged.
In the meantime, Labidi says "everyone in the community is happy" and that they are hopeful the land will be ready by the end of the year.
With files from Stephanie Tremblay