SAINT-APOLLINAIRE, Que. — The fate of a contentious proposal to establish a Muslim cemetery in a town southwest of Quebec City will be decided by referendum on July 16.
Sixty-two residents of Saint-Apollinaire will be eligible to weigh in on a zoning change that would allow the establishment of the burial ground.
A register that was created at city hall in recent days to gauge citizen opinion drew 22 signatures — five more than the minimum required to send the issue to a vote.
Only people who live adjacent to the site will be able to vote in the referendum, which will be decided on a 50 per cent plus one basis.
A deadly mosque shooting in January highlighted the fact that Quebec City's Muslims don't have a place to bury their dead.
Alexandre Bissonnette, 27, was charged with six counts of first-degree murder and five counts of attempted murder with a restricted weapon following the massacre.
The cemetery project is being led by the mosque that was targeted, in partnership with a promoter.
Some of the opponents have previously said they would prefer a multidenominational cemetery.
Mayor Bernard Ouellet, who is in favour of the cemetery, admits he would have preferred a different result from the register.
Nevertheless, he says he will leave the pre-referendum campaigning to others.
"Democracy will end up expressing itself," he said.
Pierre Saint-Arnaud, The Canadian Press