From the high to the low

Stanstead Journal - - FORUM -

Chance­sare that you leaf thru or buy this month’s is­sue of Van­ity Fair be­cause of the stat­uesque Kate Up­ton on the cover and in­side. It’s the 100th an­niver­sary is­sue of the mag­a­zine and we would not usu­ally di­rect you to it if not for the ar­ti­cle on the en­gi­neer­ing feat that is in­side. And we are not talk­ing about Ms. Up­ton’s swim­suit.

But to an ar­ti­cle, ‘ about the con­struc­tion of the new sub­way line in New York City. It is fab­u­lously il­lus­trated by Gina LeVay (www.gi­nal­e­vay.com) who is por­tray­ing the work of the sand­hog, the un­der­ground work­ers, who toil hun­dreds of feet un­der the Big Ap­ple, dig­ging aque­duct and sub­way line.

If you have the time over the next few days, take a drive to Ayer’s Cliff to see what will soon be un­der­ground in New York. It’s just be­hind the fair­grounds, on West­mount Av­enue, at the Ever­est plant. As we re­ported a cou­ple of weeks ago, it’s a form ma­chine, a rather huge thing; a sort of 225 ton Swiss watch.

While that is un­der­ground, the work done in Ter­re­bonne by ADF is more vis­i­ble: the com­pany has built all the dif­fi­cult parts of the World Trade Cen­ter’s new build­ing.

Both cases in­volved tricky en­gi­neer­ing and un­com­pro­mis­ing qual­ity con­trol. In both cases, you have to build right here, dis­man­tle and re­assem­ble on site. Make a mil­lime­ter mis­take when you start and you’re doomed. At 1776 feet above or 200 feet be­low.

Jok­ingly, I told Ayer’s Cliff mayor that his town must be the high tech cap­i­tal of the Town­ships, if not the prov­ince. With more or less 600 cit­i­zens per hi-tech com­pany, ex­port­ing prod­ucts all over the world, com­pet­ing head on with rather tough, when not nasty, com­peti­tors, Ever­est and Wulftec are proof pos­i­tive that a town en­tre­pre­neur’s re­solve is the most im­por­tant fac­tor of real suc­cess.

Wulftec doesn’t get any breaks from its com­peti­tors, mainly Chi­nese, of­fer­ing prod­ucts at highly dis­counted prices. But then as we wrote be­fore, cheap has no value when the prod­uct is not func­tion­ing when it should.

And as was the case for ADF win­ning the World Trade Cen­ter con­tract, Ever­est did not ob­tain the one for the sub­way on good looks and a de­sire by the Amer­i­cans to foster com­pe­ti­tion. Amer­i­cans are pro­tec­tion­ist to a fault and be­fore let­ting any for­eign com­pany win a con­tract they will try ev­ery trick in the book to have an Amer­i­can firm get it. More so if it is 100% tax fi­nanced as is the case of the NYC sub­way.

Noth­ing pre­dis­poses Ayer’s Cliff to take this lead­er­ship po­si­tion. Let’s be hon­est, it may be close to a main au­toroute, but get­ting there is an­other story as any truck driver will tell you. It has not seen a train in decades, has some ba­sic com­mer­cial in­fra­struc­ture but noth­ing to brag about, still it ex­ports world­wide!

Right now, Ever­est is look­ing for em­ploy­ees; we sus­pect that the start­ing wages are way above min­i­mum. This sub­way con­tract will bring more and more, as it did for ADF, so if you want to see what suc­cess looks like, drive by the struc­ture while it’s still there. You will feel a lot more con­fi­dent about the fu­ture of the re­gion when you do.

Photo coutesy

Lo­cal Lib­er­als gath­ered at the Cep d’Argent win­ery, in Ma­gog on Sun­day, for the Estrie re­gion’s Re­gional Congress. Seen in the photo are (left to right): Ghis­lain Bolduc, Megantic MNA; Karine Val­lieres, Rich­mond MNA; Philippe Couil­lard, head of the Que­bec Lib­eral Party; Pierre Par­adis, Brome-Mis­sisquoi MNA; and Pierre Reid, Or­ford MNA.

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