Stanstead mayor wants border signs moved

Sherbrooke Record - - THE BORDER REPORT - By Matthew Mccully

Ac­cord­ing to Stanstead mayor Philippe Du­til, a Canada Border Ser­vices Agency (CBSA) rep­re­sen­ta­tive is ex­pected in town be­fore the end of the week to dis­cuss the newly posted sig­nage block­ing Church Street and hope­fully have it moved.

Du­til said the mu­nic­i­pal­ity was not con­sulted be­fore the two large signs went up on Fri­day, Oct.20.

The town’s build­ing in­spec­tor did, how­ever, re­ceive a let­ter dated Oct.3 from the CBSA look­ing for the schemat­ics and de­tails re­lated to the sign that was al­ready in place on a patch of grass next to Church Street. The un­der­stand­ing was that there was an in­ter­est in re­plac­ing the ex­ist­ing sign, Du­til said.

No no­tice was given be­fore the new signs were in­stalled. Du­til said he was made aware of what was go­ing on when he was con­tacted by Haskell Free Li­brary Pres­i­dent Matthew Far­fan. In a re­cent let­ter to the editor, Far­fan de­scribed the signs as ‘large and un­sightly,’ go­ing on to say that they make the area around the Haskell look like a de­mil­i­ta­rized zone rather than a friendly com­mu­nity in­sti­tu­tion and her­itage prop­erty.

When he saw the signs, Du­til said he con­tacted the RCMP, who was also un­aware they were be­ing in­stalled.

Du­til was told the de­ci­sion to in­stall the signs came from Ot­tawa. He then con­tacted Marie-claude Bibeau, Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment for Comp­ton-stanstead. “She (Bibeau) is look­ing into it,” Du­til said.

When asked if any other new signs had been posted along the border in Stanstead, Du­til said no, but added he was told that sim­i­lar sig­nage to that posted on Church Street had been or­dered in two other lo­ca­tions in Que­bec; both places were re­mote ar­eas with no houses nearby, he said.

The Record con­tacted the CBSA on Tues­day ask­ing whether the mu­nic­i­pal­ity had been con­sulted be­fore in­stalling the signs on Church Street, and what pre­cip­i­tated the de­ci­sion to post them there specif­i­cally. By press time Wed­nes­day the CBSA was un­able to pro­vide a re­sponse to ei­ther ques­tion.

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