Feb 15, 2005 / 22:00 pm
The Canadian Jesuits lost their decade-long battle with Wal-Mart last month when a municipal board ruled that the U.S.-based department store chain could build a megastore next to a well-known Jesuit retreat centre.
The Ontario Municipal Board rejected the Jesuit arguments that the spiritual values invested in their historic farmland and retreat centre would be compromised by the hustle and bustle that a Wal-Mart would bring to the neighborhood, reported the Catholic Register.
The board ruled that Wal-Mart is free to build a new shopping centre next to the Jesuits’ 240 hectares of farmland, north of Guelph. The store would also be between Catholic and Protestant cemeteries. Wal-Mart expects the 12,000-square-foot store to open in 2006.
The board decided that religious values could not be part of the urban planning process, reported the Toronto diocesan newspaper.