Fed­er­al­ist Win­dows closed for Town­ships young­sters

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS BRIEFS - NPD, in col­lab­o­ra­tion Staff, Sher­brooke

The re­gion’s NDP MP’s held a press con­fer­ence to give an idea of the ef­fect of the cuts in the pub­lic ser­vices in the Eastern Town­ships, de­priv­ing the re­gion of good jobs. Pier­reLuc Dusseault (Sher­brooke) and Jean Rousseau (Compton–Stanstead) told the press that, since the be­gin­ning of the year, 74 po­si­tions have been af­fected by Con­ser­va­tive cuts in the Eastern Town­ships. The cuts are es­pe­cially hurt­ing the Sher­brooke Ser­vice Canada Cen­tre, where 24 jobs were af­fected. “We’re talk­ing to cit­i­zens who are try­ing to reach agents by phone and end up wait­ing for hours. It’s very dif­fi­cult to reach some­one,” said Mr. Dusseault.

The MPs also crit­i­cized the early clo­sure of the Louis-St-Lau­rent Na­tional His­toric Site in Compton on Labour Day – a Con­ser­va­tive de­ci­sion that will end up hurt­ing the re­gion’s tourism in­dus­try, econ­omy and her­itage.

“Ap­ple-pick­ing sea­son is in full swing, the Comp­tonales will soon be start­ing and Compton’s main tourist site is closed be­cause Stephen Harper de­cided that the sum­mer tourism sea­son would end on Septem­ber 3,” said Rousseau. It’s a shame be­cause peo­ple here put a lot of ef­fort into tourism, but the Con­ser­va­tives brushed all that aside.”

A side ef­fect of the de­ci­sion will be that school out­ings will be things of the past at the only Parks Canada venue where lo­cal chil­dren, both French and English, could learn about fed­er­al­ism.

Worst off will be those who will chal­lenge an UI claim: they will have to go to Montreal where the back­log is al­ready im­pres­sive.

The Cit­i­zen­ship and Im­mi­gra­tion Canada of­fice was also closed in June, which re­sulted in the loss of 7 jobs. “There too, we’re ex­pe­ri­enc­ing pro­cess­ing de­lays. Ap­pli­ca­tions that used to be pro­cessed in Sher­brooke are now sent to Montreal, but there aren’t any more em­ploy­ees in Montreal. Pro­cess­ing de­lays are reach­ing up to six months now,” said Compton-Stanstead’s Rousseau. Asked by this news­pa­per about the ef­fect it will have on im­mi­gra­tion in Sher­brooke, af­ter Montreal it re­tains more im­mi­grants per capita than any other town, both MP’s ad­mit­ted that they were not aware if the Sher­brooke Mu­nic­i­pal ad­min­is­tra­tion had con­tacted the fed­eral gov­ern­ment about the mea­sure.

“With the Rev­enue Canada of­fice now clos­ing in Oc­to­ber, af­fect­ing nine other em­ploy­ees, we can’t even imag­ine the num­ber of com­plaints we’ll get,” said the MPs.

New Demo­cratic Party MPs Jean Rousseau (Compton-Stanstead) and Pierre-Luc Dusseault (Sher­brooke) held a press con­fer­ence, last Thurs­day, to de­nounce the Con­ser­va­tive bud­get cuts that have re­duced ser­vices in the Town­ships.

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