MP Rousseau on wind tower case

Stanstead Journal - - FROM PAGE ONE - Vic­to­ria Vanier,

Lo­cal NDP MP Jean Rousseau has been ‘on the case’ when it comes to the con­tro­ver­sial wind tur­bine project in Derby Line. Ac­cord­ing to a press re­lease, last Thurs­day he met with Min­is­ter of For­eign Af­fairs John Baird to dis­cuss what ac­tions to take con­cern­ing the wind tur­bines near the CanadaUS bor­der at Stanstead. The pri­vate meet­ing took place in Ot­tawa fol­low­ing a re­quest by the Comp­ton-Stanstead MP and his in­sis­tence dur­ing com­ments in the House of Com­mons. Mr. Rousseau was sup­ported by rep­re­sen­ta­tives for NDP ex­perts on the is­sue Brian Masse, of­fi­cial op­po­si­tion critic for the CanadaUS bor­der, and Paul De­war, for­eign af­fairs critic.

Jean Rousseau re­ported that he was sat­is­fied with the meet­ing: “This shows that with a lit­tle good will we can work to­gether in the House of Com­mons to help cit­i­zens. I hope that Con­ser­va­tive MPS in Que­bec will be in­spired by this ex­am­ple of co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the two main par­ties in the House of Com­mons.”

Rousseau’s team is also in con­stant con­tact with Mayor Du­til. “Things are go­ing in the right di­rec­tion. Min­is­ter Baird agreed in the House of Com­mons to work with me to pro­tect the in­ter­ests of the cit­i­zens of Stanstead. So far, we are see­ing an open­ness and a real will. It re­mains to be seen whether it will lead to the de­sired re­sults,” Mr. Rousseau com­mented.

The work con­tin­ued on Fri­day when NDP MP Jean Rousseau and the Mayor of Stanstead, Philip­ple Du­til, met the United States Con­sul Gen­eral, An­drew C. Parker, in Stanstead, to dis­cuss the project. The pri­vate meet­ing took place near the planned lo­ca­tion where wind tur­bines may be in­stalled by the firm En­core Re­de­vel­op­ment. Mr. Du­til and Mr. Rousseau also took the time to make cit­i­zens’ con­cerns known, notably be­cause of the prox­im­ity of the Amer­i­can project to res­i­dences on the Cana­dian side of the bor­der.

“The res­i­dents of Stanstead have al­ways lived in har­mony with their Amer­i­can neigh­bours in Derby Line. We must not al­low one project like this to harm the spirit of col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween our com­mu­ni­ties. This is the mes­sage that we want to give to the Con­sul Gen­eral,” said the two Que­bec of­fi­cials af­ter the meet­ing.

“It went well,” they added. “Mr. Parker lis­tened to us. We’re hopeful that our mes­sage was heard and that he’ll work with Amer­i­can au­thor­i­ties so that the sit­u­a­tion in Stanstead can be re­solved.”

In an in­ter­view with the Stansteaad Jour­nal, Mr. Rousseau added these com­ments: “The main thing we talked about was that when the Ver­mont Public Ser­vice Board held their hear­ings, the Cana­dian cit­i­zens were not there. We wanted to know why the Cana­di­ans were not con­sid­ered. The real work has to be done through the Ver­mont Public Ser­vice Board be­cause they are the ones who will make the de­ci­sions. Now Mr. Parker un­der­stands why we’re con­cerned.”

The Ver­mont Public Ser­vice Board was sup­posed to hold its next public meet­ing on the topic in May or June, but that meet­ing has been post­poned to some­time in Au­gust. “The towns of Stanstead are at least now rec­og­nized to be part of the process,” said Mr. Rousseau.

“Now cit­i­zens have to get or­ga­nized and put to­gether a dossier and help out Mr. Du­til and his team. I’ll be mak­ing sure that the Fed­eral and Pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ments are also speak­ing to each other about this project,” he added.

To­day, Mr. Rousseau is meet­ing with mayor Du­til and Con­ser­va­tive MP Jac­ques Gourde, from Le­vis, to fur­ther dis­cuss the is­sue. “This is a non-par­ti­san prob­lem; we just need to work to­gether to do some­thing,” con­cluded Mr. Rousseau.

The Ver­mont Public Ser­vice Board will make a final decision on whether or not to al­low En­core Re­de­vel­op­ment to erect the wind tur­bines in Derby Line in Oc­to­ber of this year.

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