Perceived secrecy at crux of business park issue in Wakefield, Quebec

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by admin on January 19, 2011

The Editor,

In a letter to the Low Down last week (Jan. 12 edition), Dave Maule of Alcove presents his opinion of the recent Wakefield, Quebec poll concerning the light industrial park.

He attaches motives to the poll organizers, without talking to them. He is also not in full possession of the facts. In reality, because of the secrecy of the mayor and council, no one is in full possession of the facts, and this is the heart of the problem.

La Peche residents have no idea what the full cost/benefit of the proposed project could be.  Dividing the project into two phases (west of Hwy 105 in Valle Verde and east of the 105 on Eco Echo) just deflects attention from potential sewage extension and other utility costs.

Mr. Maule implies that the poll organizers were solely interested in preventing expropriation of the east side, but one of the owners of the Phase I land is, in fact, before a tribunal over expropriation details.

The discussions in council have made it clear from the beginning that expropriation will be used. We question the use of public expropriation for private sector investment, not expropriation per se.

Mr. Maule states he is in favour of the industrial park and the growth that this would bring. But can he guarantee it won’t stand empty like the Technology Park in Gatineau, putting a blight on the touristic entrance to La Peche? What is the planned benefit, what are the alternatives? Four months after a public meeting on the preliminary proposal we still have no answers from the municipality.

Please don’t paint those questioning the park as being anti-development. Appropriate employment and revenue generation can benefit the whole of La Peche. Just let us in on the secret.

Carolyn McAskie,

Wakefield, Quebec