TORONTO (JTA) – A Canadian court has ordered a Hasidic community to pay anÂ outstanding Â bill of $2.6 million.
The Quebec Court of Appeal ruled Jan. 31 that the Tasher communityÂ in Boisbriand, north of Montreal, must pay $1.3 million in water taxes,Â plus $1.3 million in accrued interest, the Canadian JewishÂ News reported.
The community, numbering about 3,000 members, has not paid its waterÂ taxes since 2005, the weekly newspaper reported.
The ruling by the province’s highest court upholds several lowerÂ court decisions which found that the town of Boisbriand had the rightÂ to collect the debt from the community. The Tashers were also ordered toÂ pay the town’s legal costs.
While the community has its own private aqueduct, the dispute wasÂ over the potable water it receives from the public system. The TashersÂ claimed the town had not honored a 1990 agreement that water metersÂ would be installed on each residential and communal building in theirÂ enclave.
They argued that a single meter was installed for all buildings andÂ that consumption was calculated inaccurately.
The court said the community had acted in “bad faith, resulting inÂ an unreasonable, indeed disproportionate, use of the legal process.”
The community’s lawyer said he is considering appealing the decisionÂ to the Supreme Court of Canada.