Montreal Court: Stop displaying religious objects in cab

A Jewish taxi driver in Canada fined for having too many personal and religious objects, including two mezuzahs, in his car.

By JTA
February 21, 2011 10:35
1 minute read.
taxis

taxis 311. (photo credit: AP)

 
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TORONTO - A Jewish taxi driver in Montreal may not display religious artifacts and other objects in his cab, a Quebec court ruled.

Arieh Perecowicz, 66, a taxi driver for the last 44 years, lost his much-publicized case Feb. 17 when a municipal court upheld several fines against him for having too many personal and religious objects in his car.

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He was ordered to pay $1,300, about $600 of that for court costs.

Perecowicz argued that he was comforted by having articles of his Jewish faith in the car, including photos of the late Lubavitcher rebbe and two mezuzahs affixed to the car frame between the front and back doors.

At various times, his decorations included photos of his wife and daughter, small Canadian and Israeli flags and a Remembrance Day poppy.

Over the years, Montreal Taxi Bureau authorities fined Perecowicz eight times under a bylaw that bans any "object or inscription that is
not required for the taxi to be in service."

Perecowicz argued that the bylaw violated his freedom of expression.



He has changed cars and now has three small images of the Rebbe which he says are not visible from the back seat, and the two mezuzot.

He does not plan to remove the personal effects from his cab, and told the Montreal Gazette he will appeal the ruling "all the way to the Supreme Court, if I have to."

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