Federalist Windows closed for Townships youngsters
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.