Jewish Montreal Cabbie Fights for His Right to Clutter


Fined under a bylaw, cabbie argues under Freedom of Expression to have clutter in his car including mezuzahs


By: DANIELLE KUBES  
Published: February 20th 2011
in News » Local

Montreal Cabs

Arieh Perecowicz, a Montreal cab driver who mostly works in the Jewish neighbourhood of Cote St-Luc, went to court last week to argue that the city’s taxi bureau violated his right to freedom expression after the bureau fined him four times for having clutter in his car- including Jewish objects like two mezuzahs.

 

The Canadian Press reports a Montreal bylaw requires all objects not needed to drive a cab to be hidden, but 66-year-old Perecowicz says the items are necessary to his work. These items include pictures of his children, a picture of a Rabbi with a prayer in Hebrew on the back and various knick-knacks.

 

“I compare myself to a doctor, a lawyer, a dentist, an accountant, where people go to their office and their office is a public sphere ... the only difference is I'm on four wheels and he is not, They are allowed to keep a mezuzah on their door, photos of their families, knick-knacks, jokes and statues all over the place and it has nothing to do with whatever they're doing or the service they're providing to you, " Perecowicz told The Canadian Press.

 

He says he has never received a complaint about the objects in 44 years of driving his taxi and that the bylaw has never been used against anyone else, according to his own research.

 

The bureau said its inspectors were just doing their job.

 

Perecowicz says he will appeal all the way up to the Supreme Court if necessary and if he can find someone to fight for him.



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