People of La Peche must write end to Wakefield, Quebec industrial park story

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by admin on August 11, 2010

The Editor,

As if we didn’t all have enough to worry about, details emerging about the proposed industrial park in Wakefield, Quebec should have all of La Peche up in arms. Until now, Mayor Bussiere hasn’t been shy to elaborate on promises of jobs, shorter commutes and “keepin’ it local” . . . all very attractive no matter what corner of the municipality you are from. But ask for specifics and you get nothing but silence.

Beyond the valid arguments of Sustainability, Community Vision and Reputation, there are two key issues that are certain to raise the ire of residents:

(1)  Cost/ Risk: Council will spend Millions of dollars to buy/expropriate land and further millions to extend sewers, etc. Just look at Chelsea’s Farm Point sewer debacle to see how two million dollars can become 5.7 million. Is there really a demand for such a park this far from the city? Even the lay people of this municipality are not blind to all the vacant industrial parks scattered across the Outaouais. If council gets this wrong, we, our children and our children’s children will be paying for it for decades to come.

(2)  Expropriation is meant as a last resort, used in exceptional circumstances, where there are no alternatives; I think people get that! The use of expropriation to create a commercial project like this, without adequate investigation of alternatives is downright unethical. How in this day and age can a private landowner (family) who had the vision and foresight to buy this land in the early 70s and pay municipal taxes on it year after year, be stripped of his ownership rights, just as the land takes on value? And this because it has caught the eye of a few out-of-town businesses!

It is up to the people of La Peche to write the next chapter of this story.

Paul Brown, Maryse Tassé, Yves Manning, Sylvia Spring, Carolyn Mcaskie, Patrick McGrath,

Robert Moeller, Jean & Marjolijn Thie

La Peche, Quebec