I have been a resident of Chelsea, Quebec for the past five years. During this time, my wife and I have attended numerous MRC and council meetings regarding many of the controversial projects in our municipalities.
The call to political life is an honourable one, whether it is at the federal, provincial or municipal level. I believe the mayors and councils of the municipalities of the MRC do a good job trying to juggle the demands of taxpayers, businesses and developers and at the same time trying to adhere to federal and provincial regulations. But at times some of the MRC and individual municipal projects that have either been proposed, or that are now complete, remind me of an episode of The Simpsons where a slick salesman, Lyle Lanley, sells an unneeded malfunctioning monorail to Springfield.
Not all projects that appear ‘to be a good idea’ are worthwhile if they end up creating environmental concerns or destroying the character of a municipality. Many of the most controversial projects involve that most precious of resources, water.
Administering a municipality the size of Cantley, Chelsea or La Peche is not the same as running a large city like Montreal, Ottawa or Toronto. Municipal politicians in large cities have access to full-time legal, professional and administrative expertise that is not typically found in smaller cities. These professionals can properly analyze the merits of proposed projects in terms of fiscal, social and environmental impacts. It is this expertise that appears to be lacking in our municipalities.
I request that mayors and councils of the MRC take a good hard look at some of the proposals on their tables and consider the advice of some of the people who attend council meetings. They are often experts in their fields and have the best of intentions for their municipalities. As they should – they live here also! I also ask the mayors and councils to take care and not to get influenced by the Lyle Lanleys of the world. We cannot afford it.
Farm Point, Que