MONTREAL — If you thought your days of paying rent would be over when you died, think again.
Cash-strapped Roman Catholic parishes across Quebec are demanding a form of rent on burial plots or else the bones of Great Uncle Aloyisius will be, well, evicted.
It’s what almost happened to Michael Cloghessy when he went to bury his aunt last week in Sorel, Que., and was told the 99-year lease on the family plot was up in 1986.
"They told me the cemetery has the right to resell the plot, remove the monument, dig up the bones and bury them in a common grave. I said this is ridiculous. What are you talking about?"
Cloghessy quickly coughed up the unpaid rent — known as a concession in cemeteries — and thus avoided the potential exhumation of his ancestors.
Now talk about a tough landlord. Is someone who doesn’t pay this rent a dead beat? Would not doing this be a grave sin?
Quebec laws consider burial plots to be "sacred goods" that can neither be bought nor sold, only leased. Dwindling space in Montreal and other parts of Quebec requires some "turnover" in cemeteries, Gosselin said.
Well I have often heard about someone turning over in their grave, so turnover seems apt.