After the massive explosion in Beirut on August 4, which resulted in a great number of deaths, thousands of injured and hundreds of thousands of homeless people, Saint-Laurent has decided, as a gesture of solidarity, to lower its flags at half-mast in order to share in the pain of the Lebanese people.
"The members of Saint-Laurent's Council join me in expressing our condolences to the Lebanese people and, in particular, to the people of Beirut, after yesterday's terrible explosions,” stated Saint-Laurent mayor Alan DeSousa in an August 5 release. “At this time, all our thoughts are with the Lebanese people and the Lebanese community in Québec in their suffering. We have a special thought for the families of the victims and their loved ones. As a gesture of solidarity, Saint-Laurent immediately lowered its flags to half-mast. Today, we all have a little bit of Lebanon in our hearts."
On August 4, 2020, Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, with its already troubled history, experienced explosions of unequalled power. The very long list of dead and wounded continues to grow. The city seems to have been totally devastated and now has hundreds of thousands of homeless people. This tragic event brings back dark memories of the years of armed conflict in Lebanon.
Saint-Laurent's population of over 100,000 is one of the most multicultural in Montréal, with 81% of its residents being immigrants or having a parent born in another country. The Lebanese community is very large, representing approximately 30% of the immigrant population born in Lebanon in Montréal.
Like the entire Lebanese community living in Québec, the Lebanese residents of Saint-Laurent are in a state of shock. Aref Salem, City Councillor for the Norman-McLaren district in Saint- Laurent, and of Lebanese origin, stated on Twitter: "My thoughts and prayers are with all those affected. We are all Lebanese today."
— Borough of Saint-Laurent