July 7, 2022

The Queens County Citizen

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Reconstructions of the St. Joseph Oratory were halted

Reconstructions of the St. Joseph Oratory were halted

The St. Joseph’s Oratory has halted its reconstruction due to delays as a result of the discovery of indigenous human bones, resulting in increased site costs. Unpaid companies, in recent months, have filed legal mortgages at this historic site, threatening to “sell the building under legal supervision” to pay.

Confirms that “in fact, we found human bones” during the reconstruction work Destiny Louis Privost, Director of Physical Resources in the Oratory. These human bones were discovered “several hundred years old” – long before the arrival of the Europeans – in September 2019, almost a year after the opening of a $ 180 million massive construction site.

“At present, we know that these are local bones. As for their exact age, it needs to be verified, ”he said.

After the innovations the Ministry of Culture and Information and the Kahnawak Council participated in the phases. Archaeological excavations have been carried out to ensure a proper analysis of these. The final report should be published in a few months, Louis Provost said.

At the request of the Kahnawake Band Council, a prudent event was held at the site before the bones were sent back to the territory of the reserve. Agreed not to dig further into the ground of the orchestra for other discoveries, Louis Provost says: “There may be others, but it may at least disturb the will of the aborigines. Their rest is possible. “

However, there was a significant delay due to these excavations. At the end of 2020, Celine Barbeau, director of the St. Joseph Oratory Communications, explained that “there was a delay of several months in the schedule.” “Continuing to work in the winter may not be financially viable,” she agreed. The work has been on the back burner ever since.

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As a result, disputes arise with the company responsible for the site, the Decarel Group, the new work schedule and the costs associated with cumulative delays. Decarel declined to comment on the matter. Content to say “We have a policy of rejecting or verifying information related to our contracts” Destiny Yvonne Genest, Company Director and Vice President of the Company.

However, the company has registered a legal mortgage on the St. Joseph Oratory. According to the contact notice Destiny, Decarel indicates that the St. Joseph’s Oratory did not pay him more than $ 8.6 million. The company calls on the religious body to vacate the building so that it “goes for its sale under the control of justice”.

As the documents suggest, the building contains land and buildings that have been the site of pilgrimages that Canada has considered historic since 2004. According to the latest estimates of the city of Montreal, their values ​​represent $ 66.7 million.

DeCarel’s attorneys said in a document that they had provided the materials, labor, equipment and services needed for the reconstruction of the “orbital” building “on express request.” The unpaid sums to Decarel created a domino effect with its own suppliers, they were not paid. Four of them now have legal mortgages.

Oratory representatives say their lawyers are working on these cases. “I can’t believe I saw the remix mark before the short speech,” Louis Provost said. He admitted that he did not pay large sums to DeCarel due to the fact that there were “disputes” about billing. “We need to sort it out,” he said.

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The two parties are currently under discussion, reassuring Celine Barbeau that the Oratory would not be willing to comment further on current policies: “We hope that this work will resume in the coming weeks or months. But it is sure and sure that it will start again. “

Reconstruction of the St. Joseph Oratory began in November 2018. The estimated cost of the site was then $ 180 million. Three levels of government introduced significant sums: 30.8 million came from the regional government, the federal government and the city of Montreal were injecting 22 million and 10 million, respectively.

Mr said no action had been taken by governments to cover part of the delay or all costs.To me Barbell. At the beginning of the work, it was agreed that the orbital bill would have to be wiped out in case the cost was high.

During these events, the Oratorium must now take on a bigger challenge: revenue will decline from a drop in visits due to the epidemic. On average, two million people visit the sanctuary every year. “We have major donors who support us,” said Celine Barbeau, who agrees that the lack of foreign travelers affects the flow of money.

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