Op­po­si­tion still strong

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS BRIEFS - Staff North Hathey

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.

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