– Is worshipping more important than our own safety?

Dear Neighbors,
We Need your Financial Support!  We hired a lawyer to help us with legal aspects involved in the rezoning application.  If you wish to
donate
please call:  780-619-5951  or email:   lessardcommunity@gmail.com  Thanks!

Letters to the City:

Sent: Friday, September 10, 2010 5:58 PM
To: Tim Ford; Kenan Handzic; Gail Hickmore; Karen Leibovici; Linda Sloan; Joshua Puchailo; Stephen Mandel

Subject: Eid at the Lessard (RAHMA) mosque – September 10, 2010
 
 
As expected, this morning,  more than 400 people attended the end of the Ramadan (Eid ul-Fitr) celebration at the Lessard (RAHMA) Mosque.   As you all know, this is a violation of Permit Number 94742909-002 which sets a limit of 400 on attendance at this site.  As you also know, this is the fourth time MAC has broken the law by allowing more worshippers than the limit set by the City.  A few weeks ago, the City responded by increasing the limit to 400 people.  We all wonder what is the City planning to do now?
 
This recent infraction is more serious in that we had expected it.  Several of us had phoned various City departments telling them of the expected high traffic/parking  volume, and asking them to take action.  Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, nothing was done to prevent the mess created by MAC in our neighborhood.  This makes us angry, frustrated, and very concerned.
 
Yesterday, MAC had the temerity to send a letter to a few neighbors (I wonder how they decided who got this letter, since we live very close to the site yet did not receive it) saying that, “We may see increased traffic volume during the morning of Eid, particularly between 9AM and 10AM.  Neighbors who will be driving to work or other commitments  at that time should give themselves extra time to deal with traffic volumes.”  Let me state here and now  – we have no interest in MAC’s advice as we absolutely do not plan to reorganize our lives around MAC’s schedule.  We DO NOT want the mess that this organization has created here.  The City must forbid MAC from inviting people from all over Edmonton to attend a function while advising the neighbors to “give ourselves extra time” to deal with the consequences. 
 
The City has to intervene immediately and effectively to prevent such infractions from reoccurring.  So far, the City has done little to act upon all the information that we have provided.  On the other hand, the City acted remarkably fast on MAC’s request for a capacity increase.  What exactly should we do to spur the City to action?  What should we do to protect our own citizenship rights for quality of life and safety on our roads?  So many people knew about the event — how come that nothing was done to prevent it or at least to bring some order to today’s morning chaos by involving the police?  How come the Beth Israel synagogue hires police every Rosh Hashana (the Jewish New Year event that has been celebrated over the past two days) yet MAC did not?  Instead, they asked one of their own members to control the traffic in the area; a highly unsafe procedure. 
 
How come that so many people with so much authority let the Eid go just like that? 
 
I would like to acknowledge that I met two very nice parking officers at about 1:45 pm, well after the main action was over.  They were very courteous  and tried hard to provide whatever information they had.  I appreciate that.
 
MAC continues to show considerable disrespect to the neighbors and the City.  They have no intention of obeying the law unless they are forced by the appropriate authorities.  They would like us to adapt to their way of doing business.  This is not going to happen.    
 
Thank you very much for listening.  I am sure that by now you have gathered that I am not a happy Edmontonian.  I hope for better calmer times and more pleasant emails.
 
Have a very nice day,

__________________________________________________________________________

Subject:  Eid at the Lessard mosque – September 10, 2010
To: lessard community <lessardcommunity@gmail.com>

 I had phoned the City again today…  I tried driving through at 10:30 am and two orange vested citizens were out on the city street trying to back cars out of the overly congested parking lot…  They were stopping regular traffic and nearly causing accidents.  

 It’s just a matter of time before an accident will occur and when it does, it will be the City that is at fault here for turning a blind eye to our constants calls to action by our neighbourhood.

__________________________________________________________________________

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