Opposition still strong
It was a bit noisy, sometimes nasty verging on personal, but last Monday’s monthly town meeting was, as a whole, a wholesome family affair. We’re talking question period obviously, the opening part of the meeting with winners of the Village Fleuri contest going off without a hitch.
Then came question period on the subject, as if there was the possibility of another in the town these days. In perfect French, Mrs. Jane Meagher, proud to be a fourth generation inhabitant of North Hatley, presented a petition that was 294 strong on Monday evening.
She was passionate in both French and English, stressing her strong roots to the community and what makes her proud to think of her retirement in a couple of years to a village that she knows well. She stressed that she understood the need for development, as had most people signing the electronic petition, but not on such a massive scale.
To much applause, obviously, as the packed room was filled by those who oppose the project in its present form. Then came the nasty part as one of the few citizens present who does not oppose the project asked how many people on the petition live in North Hatley? Some rather personal accusations were thrown at him, as if his question was not genuine. For the opponents, it seems that all citizens on the planet have a word in the drama and its fifty million dollar outcome: Building, or not, the Laliberté development.
For the time being, the not seems to have it. Council had to admit that the MRC had not decided yet on the status of the flooding designation of the Coaticook River and that maybe insurance companies will refuse to insure the project if built on a former flood zone.
Mayor Page had to explain to a questioner that the development would not hinder young families to move into town; he has witnessed maybe six young families building in town lately. As proposed, the development has no social housing, nor units over 4 ½.
So the issue is far from settled and we can expect another full house at every meeting until it is.