Keep Chelsea, Quebec ‘rural residential’

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by admin on October 14, 2009

The Editor,

The greatest threat to Chelsea, Quebec and the quality of life we chose when we decided to settle in this rural community, is, the “suburban vision of City Hall and some new settlers” with all its implications for local governance and its costs, debt load, taxes, public infrastructure, community infrastructure, community facilities and services etc, that is being imposed incrementally without any definition or even understanding of the total picture, and most critically, without any agreement of the community.

The alternative vision, (which former mayor Judy Grant so vigorously defended and left as her legacy), is that of a “rural-residential”, (as opposed to a “rural-agricultural” that it once was), a community with two small, rural villages that serve our needs for local commerce and interaction.
The rural community that Judy left had a culture of self reliance, practicality, individual initiative, cooperation, distinct identity, relaxed pace, minimum regulation, flexible governance, low expectations for facilities and services, low debt and low taxes. In physical terms “rural” has meant- “nature predominates” and human occupation remains within the occupation of the land.
With encouragement and debt financing of the community, some new settlers have begun to believe that they can have it both ways: all the advantages of rural plus the stuff of suburbia. I don’t believe this is not very deep or widespread, but its attractiveness to those fresh from suburbia will make it self perpetuating if left unchallenged.
As a point of focus for every concerned community associations and a point of attraction for others would be the installation of placards, something with a catch phrase
“Keep Chelsea rural”.

Jacques Cayer

Chelsea, Quebec