July 30, 2021

La Ronge Northerner

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Saint-Margurite Falls | Compromised LGBTQ + “Refuge of Peace”

The LGBTQ + community is concerned that the group will no longer be able to visit the Saint-Margurite Falls in Laurentians, a place of historical significance. Swimmers complain that access to the body of water is restricted when passing through an entrance installed in the parking lot closest to the scene. MRC des Pace-de-Hot argues that the addition of guards to security issues on the P’tit Train Du Nord near the famous waterfall is a response.


Florence Morin-Martel

Florence Morin-Martel
Press

With the sound of lush greenery and flowing water, the waterfall in Saint-Adele is truly a “haven of peace,” says Christian Tangue, general manager of the LGBTQ + Community Center in Montreal. But since last year, the presence of security guards has worried the community, which considers the place a safe place to meet, far from prejudice. Situated at a distance of 1.5 km from the parking lot, this waterfall is a delight for swimmers and nature lovers.

During his visit on Saturday, July 10, Press I was able to see a security booth at the entrance of the parking lot managed by MRC des Base-de-Hot. The P’tit Rail to North route was open to cyclists, cyclists and pedestrians.

Access to the falls was restricted to all because the land on which they bordered was privately owned and owned by the city of Saint-Adele. The Fathers, who raised the question on the spot, avoided the issue by confirming at the gatehouse that they had come instead of walking.

In 2020, large rallies took place on the same waterfall. Saint-Adeline Myers, Nadine Fryer explains, “The MRC had to intervene last year following the fact that users of Petit Rail to Nord no longer have access to the parking lot to cycle or run.”

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“Discrimination based on sexual orientation”

Members of the LGBTQ + community are targeted by adding a gateway. Felix * (fictional first name) says he returned at the entrance to the Pitit Rail to Nord last summer. “It’s easy to know what I’m going to do, it’s not cycling. I wanted to go to the falls, ”he recalled. The latter speak of the body of water as “a small paradise on earth” where people are respectful and open-minded. This year, to prevent the same situation from happening, the young man has decided to change his swimming space.

On June 9, Automne, who wanted to remain anonymous, appealed to the Judiciary for the removal of the Gatehouse. In addition to the denial due to the waterfall, the document states that “others were chased away by security guards from the parking lot. [MRC] Regardless of their willingness to go to Saint-Margurite Falls, because of their age and the fact that they appear to be LGBT + individuals. ”

Photo by Martin Chamberland, Press

In addition to cyclists, swimmers take the P’tit Train du Nord trail to Saint-Marguerite Falls, a body of water designated a safe haven for the LGBTQ + community.

“The only thing that worries us is the control of the security guards at the entrance to the park,” he saide Mark Phillips representing the claimant. As stated in our actions, this was done for the purpose of discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation. ”

A fundraiser, released June 27 by the plaintiff in the lawsuit, aims to fund the lawsuit. He has brought 60 560 so far. Autumn is indicated Press If the waterfall is not mentioned, the path can now be taken. The latter argues that these changes may be due to the filing of an appeal for judicial review. That being said, once the community and legal mobilization is halted, security will begin to deny anyone suspected of murder. Queryer Tracks, ”he fears.

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Controversy around the gatehouse

“We do not want to restrict access. We are protecting Andre Genes, the head of the MRC des Pace-de-Hout. We do not have it. Points to increased traffic from year to year.

Christian Tangue is skeptical. This evokes the tense history of the place. In 2017, police interventions led to the distribution of reports of nudity and gross indecency. Events are the title of a radio-Canada report. Mr. Tangue raises the fear of being stopped when he goes to the falls.

Photo by Christian Tangue

Christian Tangue, general manager of the Montreal LGBTQ + Community Center

The latter wants to open a conversation between stakeholders. “There are ways to make sure people don’t realize that we are trying to make their lives impossible,” he says. According to him, we tell people in the LGBTQ + community to walk in the same file, but not families.

Historic “refuge of peace”

Last year, Christian Tangue said he went there with an elder from the community who has been visiting the place for 40 years. “This is a place where you can go without seeing or getting feedback,” he says. According to him, this water system allows a place to socialize the community, while at the same time utilizing a natural site outside the big centers.

These safe spaces are there for a reason, says Daniel Kozlin, director general of Diverside 02.

Security measures such as gateways prevent real solutions from being found and listening to the needs of communities, he said. “People are going to go somewhere else,” says Daniel Kozlin.

The latter condemns the unequal treatment enjoyed by the LGBTQ + community. “There are sites as well [de rencontre] In the woods for straight people, but you never hear about it, it doesn’t seem to bother people. It seems to worry more about weird people, ”he concludes.

A similar scene in Sagoven

According to Daniel Gossell from Diverside 02, the Saint-Margurite Falls controversy is reminiscent of the problems experienced in Saint-Jean-Vienna, which is a safe haven for the LGBT + community in the city of Sagune. Since May 4, a monument and rocks have been erected to commemorate a landslide that occurred in 1971. “To me, this is obvious in my head, we put big rocks so people don’t go to the site anymore,” Mr Kozalin said. Stephen Begin, press secretary at the office of the mayor of Saguna, Josie Neron, wants the rock reserve to prevent the circulation of vehicles, to create a meditative space. “None of this has been done to block access to LGBTQ + groups,” he said.