Plan­ning a fu­ture

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS BRIEFS - Vic­to­ria Vanier Stanstead

Aspe­cial meet­ing about the fu­ture de­vel­op­ment of Stanstead was held at the Manoir Stanstead on Mon­day night as a fol­low-up event to the public meet­ing that took place at La Vieille Douane res­tau­rant in Fe­bru­ary. About thirty peo­ple from the com­mu­nity were in­vited to at­tend while sev­eral com­mu­nity work­ers and elected of­fi­cials acted as mod­er­a­tors. “Our first meet­ing fo­cussed on peo­ple’s per­cep­tions of the town’s needs. The sec­ond meet­ing held last night was about try­ing to fig­ure out what can be done,” said Ed­win John Sul­li­van, the Town Clerk of Stanstead, who was one of the or­ga­niz­ers of the event.

The par­tic­i­pants broke up into small, round ta­ble groups to dis­cuss the fol­low­ing themes: ed­u­ca­tion; em­ploy­ment and en­trepreneur­ship; com­mu­ni­ca­tions and cit­i­zen par­tic­i­pa­tion; cul­ture and tourism; youth; and sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment. “At each ta­ble we held like a work­shop. The first thirty min­utes we worked on our theme, then the next thirty min­utes we worked on ob­jec­tives, and we spent the last thirty min­utes think­ing up ideas for con­crete ac­tions,” ex­plained Stanstead’s re­cre­ation co­or­di­na­tor Maryse Trepanier who was the moder­a­tor of the ‘Sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment’ ta­ble.

The town’s busi­ness de­vel­op­ment coun­sel­lor, Joanne La­je­unesse Mckay, was the modera- tor of the ‘Econ­omy and Em­ploy­ment’ ta­ble. “In gen­eral we agreed that the town could profit from its ge­o­graphic sit­u­a­tion (near about the pos­si­bil­ity of dis­tri­bu­tion cen­tres here,” said Ms. La­je­unesse Mckay. This ta­ble also dis­cussed draft­ing an ac­tion plan to at­tract in­vestors among other top­ics.

The Ob­ser­va­toire Es­trien du Devel­oppe­ment des Com­mu­nautes

part­ner of the ini­tia­tive, at first told the or­ga­niz­ers to in­vite only fif­teen peo­ple from the com­mu­nity, be­sides the mod­er­a­tors. “Since we have a pop­u­la­tion of 3000 we asked to in­vite at least thirty peo­ple so we could have a good cross-sec­tion of the com­mu­nity,” ex­plained Mr. Sul­li­van. Although the mod­er­a­tors were as­signed to cer­tain ta­bles, the in­vited guests were al­lowed to choose the theme they wished to brain­storm about.

By the end of the evening con­crete ideas had come out of each ta­ble. Those at the Youth ta­ble, which in­cluded lo­cal film­maker Da­mon Cox and event or­ga­nizer Ziv Przy­tyk, want to be­gin host­ing monthly dances for the youth in the town. The Com­mu­ni­ca­tions ta­ble sug­gested host­ing a ‘town ap­pre­ci­a­tion’ day when the town hall can open up their doors so the public can find out what goes on there on a daily ba­sis. Both of the prin­ci­pals of the lo­cal el­e­men­tary schools, Julie Dubois and Elaine Baylis-creary, sat at the Ed­u­ca­tion ta­ble. That ta­ble spoke about plan­ning a spe­cial event to take place dur­ing the an­nual ‘Fete des familles’.

“We are now down to the wire and we’ll cre­ate core groups to bring the ideas to ac­tions,” said Mr. Sul­li­van.

Photo Stanstead Jour­nal

Mayor Philippe Du­til sat at the Ed­u­ca­tion ta­ble dur­ing the event on Mon­day night. Coun­cil­lor Chris Good­sell can be seen in the back­ground.

Each ta­ble at the Manoir Stanstead event was ded­i­cated to a dif­fer­ent theme or topic of dis­cus­sion.

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