Construction to proceed
In a follow up to an earlier article in the Stanstead Journal concerning the Pat Burns Arena’s accessibility to people who are handicapped, according to the Régie du bâtiment du Québec, it is not unlawful to restrict the access of people with handicaps to the first floor of a public building in Quebec. The Mayor assured the public at Monday’s meeting that the arena, as it is currently built, conforms to accessibility laws, despite its lack of handicap accessible doors to the arena proper, and access to the viewing area, restaurant and services on the second floor. The only available seating in the arena for wheelchairs is on a stair landing at one end of the rink, where the view is limited. The fact that in the case of a fire these wheelchairs would lie between exiting spectators and the main entrance does not seem a matter of concern to the Régie, although they hinted that handicapped citizens may sue the town of Stanstead or the administrators of the arena for ‘lack of access’ the government deems acceptable, as past cases have been fought and won in Canada’s Supreme Court.
The Town of Stanstead petitioned the Minister of Municipal Affairs for authorization to proceed with two contracts pertaining to the Pat Burns Arena. The first was the right for the Pat Burns Arena, owned by the Town, to occupy land owned by Stanstead College. The second contract involves the management of the municipally owned arena to be handled by Stanstead College. The Ministère des Affaires Municipales, des Régions et de l’aménagement du Territoire (MAMROT) has granted authorization for both contracts.
In other business, the Town has hired two new maintenance employees, one full and one part time. The plans for the construction of two new fourplexes to be built off Junction Street in Beebe will proceed and councillor Michelle Richard asked the public not only to get involved with the Cultural Center, but to make donations if possible. The council also approved $46,000 in donations to various local initiatives and charities, including children’s sports, such as soccer and hockey. The list of recipients was detailed in the 2012 budget passed at December’s municipal meeting. The list of donations will be posted on the municipal website, according to Guillaume Labbé.