No Wind Tow­ers for now

Stanstead Journal - - FRONT PAGE -

Public and po­lit­i­cal pres­sures have paid off, says MP for Comp­ton-Stanstead, Jean Rousseau. En­core Re­de­vel­op­ment con­firmed to­day it would aban­don its wind tur­bine project in Smug­glers Hill, a site in the U.S. lo­cated some 250 me­tres from Que­bec res­i­dences.

“This is ex­cel­lent news for the res­i­dents of Stanstead,” said Jean Rousseau. “Cit­i­zen mo­bi­liza­tion and nu­mer­ous po­lit­i­cal ini­tia­tives with Cana­dian and Amer­i­can au­thor­i­ties made En­core Re­de­vel­op­ment lis­ten to rea­son. They had no choice but to face the facts: their project was lo­cated way too close to Que­bec res­i­dences and wasn’t so­cially ac­cept­able.”

New Demo­crat MP, Jean Rousseau, and Mayor of Stanstead, Philippe Du­til, got a guar­an­tee from the com­pany that the wind tur­bine project lo­cated clos­est to the bor­der would be aban­doned. The decision comes af­ter a meet­ing be­tween the two elected of­fi­cials and the U.S. Con­sul Gen­eral, An­drew C. Parker. Cana­dian For­eign Af­fairs Min­is­ter, John Baird, also got in­volved in the is­sue at Jean Rousseau’s re­quest.

“It’s an is­sue we’ve taken se­ri­ously from the be­gin­ning,” said Jean Rousseau. “With the help of cit­i­zens and the mayor, we suc­ceeded in mo­bi­liz­ing the po­lit­i­cal class. Even if we still have to re­main vig­i­lant on projects on the other side of the bor­der, I think it’s an im­por­tant vic­tory for Stanstead.”

In an in­ter­view with the Stanstead Jour­nal af­ter vis­it­ing the Kingston Pen­i­ten­tiary on Mon­day, Mr. Rousseau con­tin­ued: “En­core Re­de­vel­op­ment still wants to re­place the small wind tower in Derby Line with a 400 foot tall one, but they will have to go through the en­tire pro­ce­dure again and this time the VPSB (Ver­mont Public Ser­vice board) will have to in­vite Stanstead. This pro­ce­dure would take be­tween eigh­teen months and two and a half years which would give us more time to or­ga­nize, es­pe­cially to re­search the tech­ni­cal as­pects of the projects such as the ef­fects of sound vi­bra­tions. This is the first time that Cana­di­ans were lis­tened to on that type of project…We’ll have to keep an eye on the Amer­i­cans; they have a very ag­gres­sive plan to put wind­mills across the United States.”

NewDemo­crat MP Jean Rousseau (Comp­ton–Stanstead) says the back-to-work leg­is­la­tion im­posed by the Con­ser­va­tive gov­ern­ment forc­ing Cana­dian Pa­cific union­ized em­ploy­ees back to work is “dis­grace­ful”.

“The Con­ser­va­tives pro­mote a laisser-faire and non-in­ter­ven­tion eco­nomic doc­trine. But at the first op­por­tu­nity, they in­ter­fere in a pri­vate labour dis­pute in favour of man­age­ment,” he said. “It’s ab­surd and un­demo­cratic.”

“Ac­cord­ing to Alexan­dre Boulerice (Rose­mont–La Pe­tite Pa­trie), Of­fi­cial Op­po­si­tion Labour Critic, the spe­cial leg­is­la­tion threat­ens the cur­rent labour re­la­tions bal­ance. “No one in a com­pany wants a dis­pute, but when they oc­cur, a strike is usu­ally the ul­ti­mate way for work­ers to put pres­sure on man­age­ment,” he said. “Why would the em­ployer make any con­ces­sions to the union when it knows the Con­ser­va­tive gov­ern­ment will force work­ers back to work in a few days?”

Not only are the Con­ser­va­tives pre­vent­ing work­ers from as­sert­ing their rights, but they have the in­so­lence to use the leg­isla­tive ba­zooka that is the spe­cial law, said New Demo­crat MPs.

“Un­like Stephen Harper and his MPs, I won’t be tak­ing the side of ei­ther party,” said Rousseau. “We can agree or not with the strik­ing work­ers, but we can’t be against the free ex­er­cise of col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing be­tween work­ers and their em­ploy­ers.”

Asec­ondAn­nual Shot­gun Ve­gas Golf Tour­na­ment, to be held on June 15th at the

is be­ing planned as a ma­jor fundraiser for the CAB RH Rediker. This year’s or­ga­niz­ers are Robert Galazzo, An­dré Gaulin and Arhtur LaPenna. “We get a lot of help, es­pe­cially with the pa­per­work, from My­lene and Josianne at the CAB,” said or­ga­nizer Robert Galazzo.

The tour­na­ment fee in­cludes 18 holes of golf, the cart, and a de­li­cious me­choui sup­per. “We’re us­ing the same caterer as last year and a mem­ber of our Club, Eddy Pomykala, will be the em­cee,” said Mr. Galazzo. The golfers will also get a chance to win par­tic­i­pa­tion gifts and spe­cial prizes along the course. “We’ll have room for about thirty-three four­somes on the course and al­ready twenty-eight have reg­is­tered,” said the or­ga­nizer about the pop­u­lar tour­na­ment. Since it is a ‘Shot­gun’ tour­na­ment and all teams start at the same time but on dif­fer­ent holes, there isn’t room for any more play­ers. There is a lit­tle more room in the Golf Club’s din­ing hall for the sup­per, how­ever, but peo­ple must re­serve their tick­ets by Fri­day, June 8th.

Com­pa­nies tak­ing part in the tour­na­ment can send a max­i­mum of only two teams be­cause of the tour­na­ment’s pop­u­lar­ity. The reg­is­tra­tion dead­line for teams is June 1st.

Money is also raised for the RH Rediker Vol­un­teer Cen­tre through spon­sor­ships and do­na­tions dur­ing the tour­na­ment. “So far about 90% of our spon­sors from last year are all in and we found a new one in Sher­brooke,” Mr. Galazzo was happy to re­port. Do­na­tion re­ceipts will be is­sued in the amount of $40 per player by the Vol­un­teer Cen­tre.

“This golf tour­na­ment is a very im­por­tant fundraiser be­cause, tra­di­tion­ally, we don’t fundraise for our­selves. Most of the money we op­er­ate with is from grants and do­na­tions, so it is great to have been in­vited to be the ben­e­fi­ciary of this tour­na­ment,” said My­lene LaBonté, the di­rec­tor of the CAB RH Rediker. “Some of our ac­tiv­i­ties are not funded at all by the gov­ern­ment, like the food bank, the in­come tax clinic, the or­tho­pe­dic equip­ment pro­gram and oth­ers. We’re not man­dated for those ser­vices but be­cause we are a com­mu­nity that is far from other cen­tres, there is a need. There are also new gov­ern­ment reg­u­la­tions, like sub­mit­ting in­come tax re­ports and the new pay eq­uity ex­er­cise that we are re­quired to do, that we aren’t get­ting any ex­tra money to do. They are not bad ex­er­cises, but we had to hire some­one to help us with the pay eq­uity ex­er­cise. So fundrais­ing and do­na­tions go a long way!” added the di­rec­tor.

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